Aristotle pressure by Anna Proctor at Jericho Design House
The simple everyday habits of creative people
What I like most about the creative path is the people I met on the way – at art colleges and universities, at work and as a freelancer. The extraordinary souls that inspired me to choose the creative coaching work I am doing today. Therefore, I found it instructive to ask some of my professional creative friends (+ my sister) how to approach their work and promote their creativity, while revealing the simple work habits with which their ideas and creativity can thrive.
Rebecca Gerlings, children's book author-illustrator
I work from my office in our garden and write and illustrate children's books. The rest, the variety of work and the flexible hours are great, but the isolation and the sporadic pay are not that high. I plan regular meetings with friends, writers and illustrators as well as workshops and seminars to improve my skills. These replace office life for me and offer social contact, personal and professional development, information exchange and industry perspective. I also volunteer to visit our local library, read picture books, and create a great way to connect with my end users and be inspired by them.
When I start school, I have to take two regular breaks a day. In fine weather, we cycle or run, so I get into the fresh air. I also try running a few mornings a week (I'm an early riser), which I think is great for removing creative blocks. I literally find inspiration everywhere and everywhere. Everything I absorb soaks in my skull and influences what I create. I'll record notes for future use in a variety of ways: smartphones, sketchbooks, notebooks, Post-Its, Instagram, and Pinterest. I'm always in!
For more adorable children's illustrations, please visit the Rebecca website.
Laura Loveridge, textile designer at floor
I have been working as a designer for children's clothing on the ground for 15 years. My role includes research, idea development and print design, from the provision of drawings to the creation of repetitive patterns. I draw posters – many animals, dinosaurs, pirates, vehicles, fairies and unicorns. I also have to come up with new ways to include the same topic. That's why I experiment with new colors and layouts.
If I can, I draw and sketch directly from real life. I also organize team drawing lessons to support our work. This can be anything from working in a print studio to sketching reptiles. I spend most of my working week between my home and the headquarters in Boden. Working alone can be lonely, so I enjoy spending time with my colleagues and being part of a team. When I design, I always work on a few designs at the same time to keep things moving. I also divide my time between designing, planning and researching.
I am inspired by everything in my environment, from people to nature. I also leaf through children's books, visit exhibitions, art galleries, museums and flea markets, and browse Pinterest and the main street for current trends – it's helpful to see what's going on outside of the ground!
The cute animal print is located on the ground animal jersey onesie.
Robin Danely, artist
I want to start working in the morning when I have the most energy and concentration. I have a small studio at home and can either paint on a drawing board or on an easel. I'm very picky when it comes to setting up my workspace to get the most out of the materials: paints, palette, oil medium, brushes, wipes – all in the same place every time.
Creative inspiration is for me a natural by-product of creative work. I get ideas on what to do and how to do it while I'm working. It is the discipline of a regular practice that generates inspiration and momentum. The trick is to start and reappear, even when self-doubt arises or things do not seem to flow. When I'm stuck or frustrated, it's usually because I'm tired and hungry and compare my work to someone else's. It's important to know when to take a break – a ten-minute walk will clear my mind, as well as a few days outside the social media.
I also switch between painting, drawing and collage, which can bring me out of fear. Making art can be lonely and lonely, so it's important to have an art community or just a few artist friends to share ideas and stay in charge. Finally, the book Art and Fear: Observations on the Dangers (and Rewards) of Art Making David Bayles and Ted Orland saved me more than I can count. It's full of brilliant observations about making art and feels like a rousing cheer to stay engaged.
More beautiful portraits of Robin can be found on their website.
Anna Proctor, designer of printed textiles at Jericho Design House
I feel most comfortable in my own room at my desk, overlooking the somewhat wild garden with all my colors / inks and the comforting chaos around me. I do not need anything, just to get started, I usually put aside my paperwork and my laptop and start painting – though I love to occasionally remove and clean up a fresh sketchbook. From about 22.30 clock I'm most productive, until I can not keep my eyes open. I always worked best at night. I feel very awake and relaxed and it is so peaceful!
I tend to gather inspiration as it attracts attention rather than looking for it. I love flea markets and antique shops, but I also like watching the latest fashion trends and catwalks to be inspired. Recently, we have discovered during the renovation of our house layers of beautiful old wallpaper, which had been located behind a built-in closet. I was really dizzy when I found her and I definitely want to create a small collection around her.
The creative block is a difficult question. I find that he often comes after a big high or success. Often I take a break from designing and focus on another part of my business – creating social media content, looking at product ideas for my existing prints, or doing freelance work for others. Creating a moodboard is also great for focusing on what you really want to create – basically a visual to-do list. To have only an empty piece of paper is far too daunting for me! I think it comes from years of work for other people and a short one. A big part of the struggle is to accept that creativity definitely comes in waves.
Beautiful fabrics and homeware are available at the Jericho Design House.
Zeena Shah, print designer, illustrator and author
Sharing a studio space with like-minded creatives is a wonderful way to stay inspired and creative. While you occasionally work from home (which can be very nice), it can be a bit lonely and boring to stay in your pajamas all day long. I find the work in my East London studio super inspiring. Not only is it a great way to make friends, but also people with whom you can share ideas and have a drink after work.
I'm a self-proclaimed workaholic, but I'll always find time to escape my desk and go outside. Breaks can mean that you are much more productive and there is no break in the afternoon! I often find inspiration for my work in nature, making it the perfect place to find new things to draw and collect.
My workspace is one of those where everything is in place. I work best when my desk is tidy – tidy desk, tidy mind. It really helps if you feel overwhelmed with the work and take five minutes to clean things up. I am an incredibly tidy person, so that helps!
If I have one of those days where I feel stuck or a bit overwhelmed, where to start a project, I take it all away. I go for a walk or, to change scenery, I work in a café, go to the library, to a market or to a local antique fair. I love vintage books and I have a collection of them as inspiration. I find it very therapeutic to pour over something old. That is, it's often just about not thinking things over and keeping them super easy!
For more designs, illustrations, DIYs, and workshop information, visit Zeena Shah.
Rachel Hudson, illustrator
Running with my dog Rosie through the woods is one of the first things I do to start my day at work. It gives me the opportunity to clear my head and move. It is also a brilliant reminder that I am immersed in a much larger world. If I'm lucky, maybe I can discover something interesting that I can sketch and turn into a greeting card design or expression.
My studio is at home, a little house where once the village lay. It is roughly divided into two sections: a messy workbench with all my traditional materials, including inks, rollers, brushes and cutters, and a clean area with my PC, scanner, printer, and drawing tablet. I do not travel easily!
If I ever get stuck or find an element of a project difficult, I rummage around in my books for a break and inspiration. I'm a big book collector: natural history, children's picture books, magazines and non-fiction books. I also draw a lot of unkempt spider charts to focus on what I want to achieve with the illustration. Most of the time I tell myself to keep it simple.
Beautiful eco-friendly greeting cards, art prints and illustrated gifts are available at Rachel Hudson Illustration.
And finally ..
I'm pausing on my blog and in my monthly letter for the summer. I feel the need to take a break to collect my thoughts and focus on a few personal projects – my picture is one of them. During my absence, I work with my coaching clients and enjoy some getaways (I share my summer snapshots on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook). I'm looking forward to enjoying the extra space and seeing what's going on.
If you need coaching support this summer, I have some room in my diary to work with two new clients. And if you know someone who would benefit from coaching, please send it my way.
A big thank you to the wonderful artists, illustrators and designers for sharing their wisdom. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a magical and inspiring summer.
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