July 01, 2010

A Muse U - Finding Inspiration!

Welcome to A Muse U! I’m excited to share my tips on this month’s topic – Finding Inspiration.

Think about the Audience
When I begin working on a stamping project, a few basics first cross my mind: my audience or the recipient of the card and the theme (birthday, etc). When I’m creating a card with a specific recipient in mind, that person is a huge source of inspiration. I think about some of their favorite things, colors, and style – which usually helps steer me in a direction, limits my supplies, and makes it easier to select the images for my project.

This first design I have for you today was inspired by the recipient and her favorite things. I needed to make a birthday card for my son’s friend who is turning six. She loves Hannah Montana and singing. A quick look at my stamps and I easily settled on Rockin’ Girl with “Party Like a Rockstar”. Then I needed to decide how to best fit them on a card. So I quickly roughed out a sketch of how I envisioned them – using the actual stamps in my sketchbook:

She had to sing of course, so I drew her a microphone! Next I needed to decide on the colors. I had a general idea, but looked up Hannah Montana online and decided on purple, yellow, with a touch of red and lots of glitter! I know I got it right because my son took one look at my finished card and said “Hannah Montana”!

Use Imagination
If I know what stamp I want to work with, another trick I love to use as inspiration is to imagine the stamp in “real-life”. If it were real, where would it be, what or who would it be with, what color would it be, and what would it be doing. This usually gives me a direction or even sparks an immediate vision for a card design!

On this next project, I knew I wanted to make a scene with the dragon stamp. I imagined him in real-life – in this case storybooks and fairy tales – and thought about things we usually see with dragons: castles, knights, and princesses! “Ooo – I have the Palace stamp I haven’t played with yet – perfect!” The scene then built itself in my mind and you can see my sketch in the earlier photo above. The dragon I imagined was green, so that also helped me settle on my color combo. The Palace I pictured in my mind was made of stone, so I dotted several Copic shades of grey. And I decided to use a similar technique to give the dragon scaly skin!

Find a Reference
Fabrics, home and fashion catalogs, magazines, and products also make great references for color combinations and general inspiration. My last design today below was inspired by these coasters from Little Design Horse which I noticed on the Print & Pattern blog.

The center bottom coaster reminded me of our seedlings stamp! I didn’t have the perfect circle to fit the seedlings, so I went through my stamps to see if I had something that could work. The little apple in the School Time clear set was just right when turned upside down!

Well there you have it - my top three sources of inspiration – audience, imagination, and references. I hope these ideas help you find inspiration for your projects! Be sure to tune in to Elena and Becky’s blogs today for more tips on finding inspiration!


TeaDub said...

Emily, love your cards! Great use of stamps you already own!

Michellem said...

LOVE your idea of actually stamping into your inspiration journal - I've never thought to do that - I usually just write what stamp I'd use in an area - your idea is much better! Thanks for be part of A Muse U!!

Sarah said...

I always love seeing what clever things you come up with next. And I absolutely love the idea of stamping the actual images in your sketchbook! They're so much more accurate than my distorted approximations.

Carly said...

I just love all three cards! So simply fabulous!!

Anonymous said...

LOVING your last card! Fabulous layout and colors!

Katie said...

Your idea for using the actual stamp in the inspiration journal is genius! I've never thought of that before but will definitely be doing it from now on. Thanks for the tip!