Friends, family, co-workers, and readers here at In My Own Style often ask me – How do I come up with the things I do? They ask me to teach them how to be more creative. They want to know my secrets, my sources, my methods… I could tell them to go buy a few books on creativity at Barnes and Noble or to take a creativity course at a local college or online, but they are unnecessary. Learning to be creative doesn’t have to cost you a thing in lots of time or money. All you really need to be more creative is pretty simple.
Simple as 1 2 3
I’ve boiled my process down to 3 easy steps and I am going to show you how I get my ideas and keep track of them in my next few posts. One step for each post so that you have time to think about how you can implement or tweak the steps or part of them into your own way of doing things and be more creative in everything you do in your life.
A stack of 3×5 cards
I keep 3 x5 cards close at hand at all times – in my purse, on my bedside table, in my kitchen, in my car, on my desk, and even in my bathroom as ideas can strike at anytime and it always seems at the wrong time. Like when I am in the shower, in the middle of a dream, or walking down a city street. But with the 3×5 cards at hand, it is easy to write a note to remind myself of the thought or idea that popped into my head or something I saw when out and about. These cards give me assurance -so that when I do have the time to think about it more, I know where to find it so I can put the idea into action. If I didn’t do this most of the projects and ideas you read about here on In My Own Style would have never come to fruition.
Having the idea documented on a 3 x5 card makes it permanent and eases my mind knowing if I forget I have back-up and best of all – I always have fresh ideas. I use these cards for all sorts of ideas – not just for decorating. If I see someone on the street and I adore the way they pulled different pieces together to create a stunning outfit – I jot down what they were wearing. My mind is constantly bombarded with images and I don’t have enough brain power to process it all so I need to do this so I won’t lose the fleeting inspiration.
I like the 3 x 5 cards better than scraps of paper as they are uniform in size and each card represents one idea that is just as important as the one on the next card. I put them in a little basket on my desk so they are easy to retrieve when needed. I attached the label I made with two brass fasteners. I centered the label, then used the closed tip of a sharp pair of scissors to create a small hole in the basket for the brass fasteners to go through. If you would like the free download of labels you can find it at this post – How to Make Wipe off Labels for Organizing Your Stuff.
When I have time, I file them into my file drawer under their respective category – lighting, fabric, colors, patterns, re-purposing, table settings, etc.
When I need inspiration on how to re-do an old brass chandelier, I browse through my lighting file for an idea. The idea card that gave me the inspiration for my most recent project was a chandelier covered with broken tile. I knew I didn’t want tile, but went to my basement to find some grout and only had Spackle. Knowing I have to stretch every dollar, I decided to give it a try instead of going out to buy grout. It ended up working out just fine and perhaps better as it was lightweight and not heavy like grout would have been.
may seem simple, yet everything starts with a single thought and blossoms from there.
If I were Martha Stewart I would now say..It’s a Good Thing, but I am not and will leave you with –
It’s just an idea.
What is your creative process? How do you keep track of all the ideas you get? I am always inspired by the way other people do things – so do tell.
Read part 1 & 2