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I found quite early on that...I did my best work by being guided, not by being forced. And I suppose that really is just the child in me, wanting to be allowed to grow and develop at my instinctual sort of pace. - Elizabeth Taylor

I believe the first, possibly most important, step is to recognize yourself as a creator. Even if it’s something as mundane as keeping house, you are creating. Whatever form your creativity takes is valid and can be used to make everyday life so much more fun.

Finding your inspiration and creative outlet can take a lifetime so don’t worry if you haven’t figured out what you really enjoy doing. Another fun thing about the creative journey is that it can change at any time! You may find that you love painting and a few weeks, months or years into nurturing that gift, you suddenly get the spark to make jewelry. This is good! Just go with the flow. It’s possible that the time spent painting will influence jewelry design in a new, interesting way.

Creativity is a scavenger hunt. - Elizabeth Gilbert

A few things that I’ve found helpful in the creative process are:

  • Following Instagram accounts! My personal creative outlet is sewing and although I follow a few sewing accounts, I also find inspiration from poets, painters, gardeners and photographers. If you look closely, you’ll be able to find that common thread - something as small as a color palette you enjoy.
  • Create a ritual. Turn on some music, light a candle, open your windows or close the drapes. Change the room you’re working in, the time of day, try being alone or with others. Play with it and find your natural rhythm.
  • Mood boards! On Pinterest or a physical cork board with magazine clippings. I enjoy both and it really helps to get all of those random ideas out of your head and in front of you. When you get a decent collection of images and words, you will likely start to see a theme appear. Keep going!

  Start small. Try a new recipe, read a new genre of book, listen to poetry even if you "don't like poetry." Step outside of your comfort zone! Creativity begins with mindfulness and exploration!
-JC Burchfield