In the last TPK blog post — Three Fantastic Resources for Artistic Inspiration — we examined Pinterest, books, and Instagram as great resources to jumpstart your creativity! In today’s post, I’m going to outline three more awesome places to find inspiration when you’re in a creative slump. You may have heard of Resource #5 (Craftgawker); but the other two may surprise you!
Artistic Inspiration Resource #4: Flow Magazine
I hesitate to call Flow Magazine a “magazine” because it’s not. When I think of conventional magazines, especially here in the US, I think of collections of advertisements with articles tucked in between. Whenever I read those types of magazines, I feel the opposite of empowered and inspired! Sure, there are some gems of articles once in a while, but more often than not, what I take away from conventional magazines is I need to buy this or that to be happy. With Flow, though, your takeaway is completely different.
Flow calls itself “a magazine that takes its time”, and that’s true. I receive an issue every 3-4 months, and it never disappoints. Never. First of all, Flow doesn’t do advertisements, which is probably why it’s significantly more expensive than your average magazine (well, that and the international shipping cost: Flow is based in the Netherlands). Most issues include awesome little paper goodies like notebooks, mini books, bookmarks, and gift tags. The articles are incredibly intelligent, well written, and tailored to a creative audience. I have particularly enjoyed the art prints included in each issue. I generally cut them out and frame them!
In addition to art prints, articles, and paper goods, the magazine always includes simple tutorials. Those tutorials always prove to be inspirational! For example, one issue included a tutorial over how to draw a hutch and jars.
I loved that idea, and I used it for envelope art and a tutorial!
I cannot recommend Flow Magazine enough as an ever-evolving book, really, of amazing ideas and artistic inspiration! You can purchase a subscription by clicking here. As I mentioned, the magazine is not cheap, which is the only downside. If you live in Europe, it’s much more affordable (appx. $20 issue); outside of Europe, it’s around $30 per issue. You can also buy individual past issues, seems to be a cheaper way to go. Most of the topics that Flow covers are timeless, so you’ll still be able to enjoy the content and articles!
Artistic Inspiration Resource #5: Craftgawker
Craftgawker is sort of like Pinterest in that it features a collection of inspiring projects. Unlike Pinterest, however, Craftgawker is curated by photographers and every post is art- or craft-related. Here’s how it works: bloggers write a tutorial, then they submit the tutorial to Craftgawker. Craftgawker either approves or disapproves the post, mostly based on how much the Craftgawker reviewer likes the photography.
You can find a lot of inspiration on Craftgawker! I use it to discover the coolest computer desktop backgrounds, project ideas, and general information. One post I found on Craftgawker that struck me in particular is “How to Style Instagram Photos” from my friend Zakkiya’s blog, Inkstruck Studio. The tidbits of information I found in that post — like “use natural light” and “tell a story with your photo” — really helped me to up my own photo-taking game! After I found that post, I started incorporating elements I had used to make projects into my photos. For example, the photo below, created for the Four Simple Envelope Embellishments post, includes an oblique pen, a Brause EF66 nib, and iron gall ink to show you how I made the piece. Getting the advice to “tell a story” with a photo was a turning point in my photography, all due to some casual Craftgawker browsing!
The great thing about Craftgawker is you can both derive inspiration from it and give inspiration to it! To learn how to use Craftgawker to build your blog, you can read this post, which is older but contains some great tips and information!
Artistic Inspiration Resource #6: Your Own Past Projects
If you’re at a loss for what to make — whether as a personal project or a gift — you can take a look at some of your own older projects! For example, I recently wanted to make a small, quick piece of artwork for my brother’s family. After taking a look around my office, I saw the calligraphy ampersand that I made for this tutorial. That cemented my decision to make the ampersand pictured above for my brother!
Another time, a friend had asked me to come up with an idea for her wedding invitations. I was at a loss until I saw a fabric invitations project I had made last year! The older fabric invitations prompted me to make my friend’s tulip-themed invitations out of fabric as well (pictured below).
The moral of the story is this: if you make something, keep it around. You never know how or when it will inspire you to make something else! If you don’t have the space to display things around your home, you can always keep them in an artistic scrapbook or sketchbook journal.
I hope that the six artistic inspiration suggestions enumerated in this post and the Three Fantastic Resources for Artistic Inspiration post helped you to find some new gems! If you know of more resources for inspiration, please contribute to the comments below. I know that I have to be missing out on some excellent books, websites, and magazines, and I’d love to hear about them!
Thanks very much, as always, for reading TPK, and have a fantastic weekend!