I rarely if ever set the alarm to wake in the morning. Somehow, like many, I open my eyes from sleep about the same time every day. Then, if given the opportunity, I will close my eyes and lay in bed for about an hour as creative ideas flood my mind. How I wish I had a mental note pad, knowing that if I sit up to write ideas down, the lucid state of creativity will surely leave me. Often I can work out full design and craft concepts in my mind from beginning to end, troubleshooting, revamping, shopping for supplies, and displaying and photgraphing, all before leaving the pillow, working out all the kinks I can before I ever begin the actual project.
It’s a strange method I’ve learned to embrace. Creative ideas used to come to mind primarily in the shower or on long walks, when my mind was still from deadlines and duties. But I’ve discovered that early morning meditations are the most productive moments of my day.
I’ve always been a doodler. In high school, I found it was the only way I could absorb the information being spoken by the teachers. I bring a small sketchbook to church every Sunday morning in attendance and doodle page by page of ideas as they come to me, taking in every spoken word of the pastor simultaneously.
My sketchbooks are my journals. An addiction of sorts. They are my memory as my own begins to wane. I become disoriented if I find myself out and about without one tucked into my purse or car and available for jotting down ideas and concepts that find their way into my brain at any given moment as I know for certain they may be lost forever if not recorded. In the years since I began keeping sketchbooks, I have accumulated volumes of creativity, much long forgotten but occasionally revisited. I occasionally discover old ideas as if seeing them for the first time and at times I’m quite impressed.
I have a little notation system within my sketchbooks. As I sketch, (usually with a fine-point black rollerball pen), some ideas make more sense than others and are deemed craft-worthy, blog-worthy or book-worthy. Those get a "GI" (for "good idea") and a thick-lined doodled star. Then, whenever I hit a creative wall I can always turn to my sketchbook and find those GI-stars for previously scrutinized ideas to work with.
Before beginning projects, I often pray, as ultimately, ALL of my creative sparks are the work of God in me. I have acknowledged Him always for my creative gifts and accomplishments, humbled by the fact that he would bless me in such a beautiful way. In return, it is my purpose to share those gifts freely with others, which in full-circle, enriches my life tremendously.
Cathe Holden is a graphic designer and an passionate crafter with a love of authentic vintage style. Her blog, JustSomethingIMade.com features her innovative craft projects & tutorials, creative inspiration and free digital downloads. She lives in beautiful Petaluma, California with her husband, Jeff, and three teenage children, ages 14-16.