In this article Joanne Griffin, founder of Arnold & Bird shares her quick tips to get out of that creative rut and get inspired both quickly and with ease.
When running a retail business you get to be inspired on a daily basis. But sometimes the creative juices are a bit lacking as all of the other aspects of running a business get in the way.
Post office runs, bookkeeping, posting on social media, packing orders, customer enquiries…. Sound familiar? And that list can go on and on!
Which means sometimes when you do sit down to start designing, that blank piece of paper seems intimidating and you don’t know where to start.
Often your original passion and way to be creative evolve into your business. So it moves from being a hobby to the way you make money.
Have a think about what else you love to do outside of your job to be creative and clear your mind.
And if you can’t think of anything then ask yourself:
There’s nothing like getting outside of the four walls you sit into work to get some air in the lungs and a different view on things.
Go for a walk, be in nature if you can – anything from a park to a walk around the lake. Or head to your favourite spot – maybe it’s a historic site or a piece of architecture you just love.
Cafes are a great place to work from as there are others around. Or find a local co-working space.
Head to an exhibition you’ve been wanting to see. Or go see something you wouldn’t normally go to. Inspiration can strike in unlikely places sometimes!
Attend trade, craft or retail shows. They’re a great way to meet fellow business owners and see new trends.
Pop-ups are always fun to attend. Research one-offs that are hosted by companies such as Etsy.
Head into town and go comp shopping. See what the big and small retailers are doing. Check out their visual merchandising, ask what their best-sellers are and see what their marketing message is promoting.
Create an inspiration stash by saving inspiration as you find it – meaning you won’t come to your design day with anything already saved.
Create a secret board on Pinterest called ‘Ideas’ and save anything you love while working day-to-day. You can then go back and review it every month or so.
Save Instagram posts you love by pressing the flag button on the right-hand side of the post.
Save images from blogs you follow in a folder on your desktop. A blog reader such as Bloglovin makes following blogs really easy.
Buy magazines you love and tear out the pages and save them in a paper file. Pick up magazines you wouldn’t normally go to get inspiration from new sources.
Talk to other business owners in person or on Facebook groups. Find others who you connect with through shared business and personal values. Use each other for support, to cheer on and celebrate the good times with.
Sometimes you need to get out of your own head. Meditating is a great way to do this. Guided meditations make it much easier as you follow someone’s guidance. Insight Timer has some great ones for creativity.
Write down three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude notebook. You can’t feel lacking in your life (or inspiration) when you’re feeling grateful.
Journal your thoughts out of your mind. When they’re in your head they’re stuck so brain dump and get everything out so your mind is clear to allow new thoughts in.
Something I learned in management training is that something you need a different perspective. Do this literally by standing in a different part of your studio or even on a chair!
Get off Pinterest and create a real-life mood board by ripping out images you love and placing them together. Create a mess, don’t worry about the outcome and create something just for you.
Dance! Shake off the day and loosen up your body. No one is watching so free your body and mind and enjoy the movement!
I hope these tips helped you find a new way to get your creative juices flowing. Pick the ones that speak to you. Or be brave and try one you never normally would and enjoy it.
Feeling inspired and want to move your ideas into action steps? Get in touch with Joanne for product development & design support to bring your ideas to life, feel confident in your products and move your business forward.
Arnold & Bird was started by Joanne Griffin to help home & gift retailers see what’s possible and stretch their products ideas even further. She specialises in producing product development ideas and designs for creative brands that are intentionally planned to sell and grow your business
Using her experience of 13 years in e-commerce, Joanne is here to take your Pinterest inspiration and work with you to create designs personalised to your business.