The Ancient Greeks were notorious for their Epic Poetry about struggling for inspiration. They had the Nine Muses to plead with to help them find their way back to their art. Nowadays, finding inspiration isn’t quite as clear. We have all seen the movies, self-help books, seminars, and even dietary supplements to help us find inspiration. But, how much of that really works? I know I don’t have the answer. Maybe after you read this, you can share in the comments what works for you and we can help each other!
Back in my other life when I considered myself a writer, I remember so often struggling with inspiration. There would come that inevitable point in the writing when I would hate the work and get stuck. In college we were given a lot of useful tools to help with these moments. Everything from free writing, making outlines, Venn Diagrams, keeping a journal, walk away from the work, and changing location. Usually most of those techniques worked for me and I would be able to complete whatever I was working on.
Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be similar specific tools for jewelry design. Music has always played a big part of my jewelry design process. I also enjoy learning about historical jewelry designs. But, since March of 2020, I have been struggling with finding inspiration for my jewelry. I have often been at my workspace for hours staring at my idea journal or beads with no ideas blooming. It’s really kind of funny to me that even now as I sit here writing this, I have a cameo of the Three Muses sitting in front of me, patiently waiting to be placed into a design.
Yet, I am one of those annoying people who works better under pressure. Ideas have been born sitting at my booth at a show or when I only have two days before something. As frustrating it is to admit that about myself, unfortunately it seems to be the reality! No stress equals no inspiration? I never thought stress cold be beneficial!
So how do we find inspiration? My biggest takeaway from all this is simply, to get out of my head. The more I think, the less I accomplish. Do something else you love, go for a walk, draw a picture, read a book. These are things that seem to be working. And, perhaps, the Muses will return while we are distracted!
“There is no wide road which leads to the Muses.”
The Three Muses: Faith, Hope and Charity Cameo