Finding Inspiration

Mickey's 90th Birthday Spectacular oil painting © 2018 | All rights reserved.

According to a study conducted by Adobe, almost two-thirds of those surveyed felt creativity was valuable to society, yet surprisingly, only 25% of people believe they are living up to their potential to be creative. Why do you think that is? Have you personally felt you lack the time, productivity, talent, or resources to create things of value? Or perhaps you’ve hit a dry spell and are having difficulty finding inspiration. Maybe you’re like me and most moments of creativity come in like waves of the ocean.

Today marks Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday! He’s one of the most recognizable characters in the world, having been created by Walt Disney and his dear friend, Ub Iwerks, in 1928. When talking about Disneyland, which he claimed to be his most important work, Walt Disney stated “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” I love that.

Mickey Mouse is especially close to my heart because he’s actually the same age as my grandma. And wow does she love the rides at Disneyland! She even enjoys riding the most daring ones with me! Last year I had the chance to visit Walt Disney’s hometown in Marceline, Missouri. It’s a charming town that is full of nostalgia and Disneyesque architecture. It definitely left me in awe and wonder and full of inspiration. You can find out more at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.

Do you feel like you’re living up to your fullest creative potential? What holds you back and what inspires you move forward?

Here are a few ways that help me find inspiration and I hope they help you too. And be sure to keep reading for a special announcement.

    1. Volunteer your time and talents. “The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem” ~Walt Disney. Get involved in activities where you are doing things for other people. Ask yourself, “What can I do to add to other peoples’ happiness and bring them joy?” Check out your local community center, nursing home, or the bulletin board at your favorite coffee shop. There is always someone who would just be blessed by what you have to offer.
    2. Don’t scrap your less than ideal pieces of work. Photography has evolved so much in the last couple years and it has sparked a renewed interest for me. Because I started on film, I found that I have a terrible habit of getting rid of photos that are less than perfect. When I initially took up photography, there weren’t many options to fix problems because of constraints in technology, whether the horizon wasn’t level, the exposure was off, or someone’s shoulder was in the way. Nowadays these types of issues can be remedied much more easily. This has changed my way of thinking and it has given me more freedom to create that beloved image. Furthermore did you know that an ugly broken cake roll can be made into a beautiful and yummy Gingerbread Trifle? Look for opportunities to make the most of your less than ideal creations before you decide they won’t work.

  • Try a new craft or medium. Learning a new hobby or skill and gaining a better appreciation for it can help you grow as an artist. I’ve really enjoyed painting along with Bob Ross videos. But before I started in oils, I decided to try acrylics. However I’ve learned that painting with acrylics is not my forte but I have great respect for people who do. The acrylic paints weren’t blending properly, the bristles were lifting the paint off the canvas, I pretty much got tired of looking at it. So I’m going to wrap it up and take it to my next white elephant gift exchange party. Can you can relate to the expectation and reality memes like I do?

  • Check out online educational resources such as The Great Courses Plus which offers online study courses for professional development, hobbies, travel, history, literature, art, writing, and various languages. I’ve taken quite a few of them and they’ve all been incredibly insightful. Modern States also has excellent study courses for various topics which allow you to prepare for advanced placement or examinations for college credit, for free.

  • Live in the present. It’s easy to get stuck in the past or the future. “If I only had this… If I only had more… ” Whether it’s advantages, disadvantages, failures, potentials, or attestations, it’s what you do with your lot in life that tells you not only what you are but who you are as a person.
  • Spend time with nature. Get outside. Go for a walk, run, do some yard work, or plant a garden. Choose an activity that benefits you in more than one way. It’s amazing how easy it is to get distracted while focusing on something else. Take advantage of that distraction because that’s when many creative ideas often come to mind. Be sure to check out my latest YouTube video Flower Blossom Compilation Time-lapse. FLower blossom compilation thumbnail
  • Write your thoughts down. Keep a notebook or have your device handy and write down thoughts as they come to mind. I find that writing down a few key words right away helps to develop my ideas on a deeper level and in more abundance.Write your thoughts down © 2018 ericarobbin.comOn that same note, take into consideration your device wallpapers and notebook covers. Choose ones that inspire you.DSC02126
  • Have a dedicated creative space. Whether a craft room, studio, an office, or a cozy nook, having a space that is set aside just for your work will allow you to be ready to create. It can be any place where you can leave your tools and equipment out. It’s a real bummer when you want to create something but lose that inspiration because everything you need is in boxes, it takes too much time and effort to get things set up, and then you start to dread having to clean up afterward. Look for a place with natural light and decorate it with positivity and have at least one plant.
  • Incorporate your other senses. Whether it’s listening to beautiful music or an encouraging radio broadcast show, lighting a candle, wearing a reminiscent fragrance, or eating one of your most favorite snacks, take delight in all that life has to offer. Chex Muddy Buddies, photo courtesy of General Mills
  • Stay organized. Maintaining a tidy work space will allow you to go straight to work without having to spend an unnecessary amount of time looking for misplaced brushes or scissors. Keeping your personal life organized can also help you remain focused and lessen the burden when committing your time toward a project. It can be rather difficult to dedicate yourself fully to a project and enjoy the process of creating when you have messes and errands looming over your head.
  • Plan but don’t over plan. Perhaps you are a person who is motivated by deadlines. Welcome to my life, where most of my best ideas come when my mind is under pressure. This type of creative spirit has its advantages and disadvantages. As a child, I always felt like I needed a rigid schedule, to work ahead, and finish early. However as an adult, I find myself thriving on last minute energy. There is a way to avoid the pitfalls and celebrate the successes of both. By choosing to do simple things early on like getting ingredients out, writing an outline, or choosing paint colors, you can still feel the inertia of accomplishment without becoming overly stressed when you’re up against time. Things are happening, ideas are coming © 2018
  • And that person you’ve been meaning to get together with? Call or meet up with them. Have a laugh, have a cry, share some cheer. A lot of creative projects are done as solitary activities which can be quite isolating, so be sure you don’t neglect your social life.
  • And that person you’ve been meaning to get together with? Call or meet up with them. Have a laugh, have a cry, share some cheer. A lot of creative projects are done as solitary activities which can be quite isolating, so be sure you don’t neglect your social life.
  • Join a creative workgroup. Surround yourself with like-minded people. We live in an age when accessibility and connectivity is easier than ever. Maybe you don’t live in a creative community that celebrates your niche within your particular demographic or area. Perhaps it’s time you start one!
  • Know that creativity is incredibly personal. In a time where preset filters and fan art have become more popular than ever among the creative industry, remember that it’s still you taking the photograph and it’s still you drawing up the draft. Creativity is an expression of you. Take the time to learn about yourself. 
  • Mickey's 90th Birthday Spectacular oil painting © 2018 | All rights reserved.

    1. How do you go about finding inspiration? Let me know in the comments below or respond to my recent posts on my other social media sites, YouTube or Instagram as part of your entry for a giveaway! I believe that art brings a lot of joy, wonder, and inspiration into the home and workspace. As a thank you for all your support in all my creative endeavors, I’d like to show my appreciation by giving away a 10.7″ x 8.0″ lustre finish, color photographic print of my most popular photo (Florida Sunset pictured below). One winner (UPDATE: GIVEAWAY CLOSED) will be chosen at random on Wednesday, November 21st at 12 midnight EST. Since the print will be processed through Redbubble, domestic and international shipping restrictions will apply. Go to Rafflecopter to enter. Please also review my Terms and Conditions page for further details and rules related to the giveaway.
  • Florida sunset © 2018
    “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueller

    If you don’t win or are interested in purchasing additional prints or other products featuring my latest creatives check out my Redbubble shop for more as well as my Teespring shop which is currently offering a $2 purchase discount (some product restrictions apply) through Cyber Monday. And don’t forget to check out my Resources page for more information to help you live up to your full creative potential and inspire others in the process. Have a lovely and inspiration filled day!

    <span class="uppercase">Hello, I'm Erica </span>
    Hello, I’m Erica

    Recipe developer, book reviewer, and artist. Expect delicious recipes both traditional and new, book reviews of all sorts of genres, a variety of creative expression, life musings, and much more!



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