Carol’s Top Ten List

This is one of my “Top Ten Lists” for finding things that inspire me!carol's top ten brush

1. Continue Learning

2. Doodle Everyday

3. Mother Nature

4. Trend Shopping

5. Retreat- Relax- Refresh

6. Get Out and Socialize

7. Travel to New Places

8. Keep a Sketchbook

9. Try Something New

10. Daydream


It’s always a good idea to be open to new ways, to new opportunities, to new experiences. Sometimes something new  is just the right thing to give you pause for let your mind wander…to try a new approach based on what you found. We are on a continuing educational journey and one that delights us as creators as we discover something wonderfully exciting to get those creative juices flowing!

Doodling is not only fun but frequently serves as a fun way to find inspiration from some of those funny little lines you put on the paper in an almost uncaring way. So keep the pencil or pen moving as you drink your morning coffee watching your thoughts come out on the paper ! You will be surprised with what you unknowingly create.

No one does it better than Mother Nature…Revere her inspiration, be in Awe…..Observe her, take in all she gives you and create something of your own that is influenced by her genius. She is truly amazing!

Shopping is a key element in finding inspiration. Everything starts in the Fashion world, so put on your walking shoes and hit the malls or boutique shops in your town and see what is out there…what’s trending…what artwork is on clothing and again on products and how would your images fit in to what is out on the market?

It’s good to retreat now and then…walk the beach, breath in the fresh air which I try to do several times a week being fortunate enough to live on the ocean. Wherever you may be, find a place you love and just relax and refresh your thoughts to allow for the new ones to enter.

You cannot create in a vacuum so get out and socialize…see what is happening in the world, what are people talking about, what’s on T.V, what are the magazines writing about, the newspapers, what’s on social media, what is the buzz going on…listen and learn and be enlightened and be aware.

Traveling to new places to me is the best of all for finding inspiration. I always loved the quote by Mark Twain-“Throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Being introduced to new cultures, meeting people from other countries and finding new ways to look at things allows us to take it all in and act like a sponge! Traveling influences us as creative souls to try a different approach and makes us realize how very small our world really is.

I keep a sketchbook and take it wherever I go especially when I travel. I have hundreds and hundreds of sketches and dozens and dozens of books from all the many trips we have taken over the years. I jot down everything I see that is interesting, I sketch and draw the places, the shops, the products I see, the folk art, the people, the store windows, the town square, anything and everything that I am excited about. I love looking back on them and revisiting my favorite spots and picking out ideas for new images based on something I saw in another world that inspired me to create.

As a creative soul, we should always be up for trying something new. Whatever it is…It could be just trying out a new medium like carving stamps and printmaking, it could be learning to plant a perennial garden, to do power walking, riding a bike, it could be taking a class in something like astrology….again, it is that continuous journey that leaves us open to learning something new and watching and observing  how that influences us in our creative process.

Daydream…Daydream…Daydream…what else is there to say about that experience…it just takes us places we never knew existed before and let’s our minds flourish with abandon as we follow this moment to wherever it wants to take us.


Don’t Just Look…Observe!

don't just lookWhen I was in college one of my illustration professors always talked about how as artists we should always be observing the world around us taking in every detail. “Observation is critical,” he would say! Somewhere out there are all sorts of interesting things to amuse and inspire us to create, but we need to find them first.

Now the key word here is OBSERVATION….”the act or process of observing something or someone carefully in order to gain information.”

To only “look” at something is to glance or gaze towards something or someone, but you are not scrutinizing or studying when you just look.

I suggest you start the quest for finding your inspiration by “observing” what you see outside your window, right in your own front yard. No looking or glancing, but really consider what you are surveying and paying careful attention.

Take a pencil or pen and draw what you see…is the window open? Is there a curtain and is it blowing toward you? What can you see outside the window frame? Are there trees and bushes, another house, a fence, perhaps a parked car or a kid’s bicycle? Do you see one of your neighbors walking his dog along with a newsboy delivering the paper or maybe an ice cream truck playing one of those continuous irritating songs?

Thus begins your careful observation process…this time while you are peering out the window really stop and take it all in. Observe it all very carefully, make notations, do a sketch…record what you see… No looking allowed…just consider everything you observe. You are actually training yourself to gain information from your observations which will eventually lead you to something that will inspire you.

I bet you money that you will start to notice things you never realized were there previously because chances are, you didn’t really observe at all…you just looked.


Welcome To My New Blog!

my quoteI imagine you are wondering about the name of my blog- “I am so inspired I can’t even move!

Just a few years ago I stopped in one afternoon to visit my favorite local art supply and frame shop, “The Yankee Doodler”. The two girls who run the “Doodler” Tracey and Sam are always finding interesting art supplies and products for the shop. I love to pop in from time to time to see what they are up to.

On this particular day when I walked into the shop they were in the process of framing a collection of fabulous Japanese prints. They had a number of these wonderful images spread out all over the counter.

I literally stopped dead in my tracks as the words “I am so inspired I can’t even move!” tumbled out of my mouth. It took my breath away! The artwork was so colorful and so full of inspiring images that I didn’t know what to look at next. It was as if my entire being was soaking it all in and I didn’t dare move in case I might miss something.

And the funny thing was that they were so inspired by my reaction that they actually made some prints using my “tumbled out words” and later had the prints hanging up in the store. They even gave me a print for my studio.

People often ask me where I find the inspiration for my artwork. “Where do you come up with these ideas?” “How did you think of creating that design or product?” I have been thinking for a while about creating a blog to demonstrate how I find inspiration in my everyday life.

Inspiration is all around you…. you just have to look for it… it is called observation. You don’t have to be an artist to be inspired. It seems that artists tend to be more aware and pay attention to the little things a bit more than non- artists. It’s the creative way to study and peruse and notice the tiniest details around us to find our muse and what interests us. The truth is, however, that all of us need inspiration to keep us going forward…it’s what drives us to be better at what we love to do. It motivates us and drives us to our goal.

So, as I was thinking about writing the blog I recalled that time at the art supply shop and my reaction to what I saw that day. Then it hit me. What a perfect title…my reaction when I saw the Japanese prints. I could write about finding inspiration in everyday life and share how to observe and notice the world around us. I could show my art and licensed products as actual examples of my inspirations. I could teach different creative techniques along with some fun activities while giving tips on keeping a sketch book or a travel journal or noting plants in my garden and how they grow and what living on the ocean means to me and having a wonderful expanding family that inspires me each and every day.

I got so excited about the new blog…the perfect title…the experiences I have had…what inspires me that it just all came together…so welcome again…

I hope you will soon have these same words tumble out… “I am so inspired I can’t even move!”