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Pikaland’s 9 Tips to be More Creative

Oct 15, 2009

by pikaland handmade and vintage goods

Amy Ng, Pikaland blogger and artist collaborator extraordinaire, has many a helpful article on creativity, business and life in her zine, The Good to Know Project. Amy hosted a Virtual Lab as part of our Holiday Workshops for Sellers series on Getting Out of the Box (you can find the recap here). I asked Amy to share more tips on sparking the creative process with Storque readers. Here they are…

About fueling creativity:

  1. Creativity is fueled by experiences, sights, sounds and smells. Sitting still won’t bring new ideas in; experimenting and trying new things will jog your creativity.
  2. I maintain a certain pattern to the day, with my morning bath signaling to me that I am starting my work with a fresh mind and spirit. After breakfast is when my day officially begins — I turn on the radio and look at my to-do list (see #3).
  3. I jot down notes every night before I go to bed about what I need to accomplish the next day. This way, I’m actively placing my worries onto paper so I can go to bed not fretting about what needs to be done.
  4. I have a box labeled for each different project I’m involved in, so I don’t worry about misplacing things or ideas. (This one was inspired by The Creative Habit.)
  5. I also keep a different sketchbook for different topics and ideas. I have one for business, one for random sketches and another for my writing. And in these sketchbooks I sometimes allocate different sections so that my thoughts don’t get messed up too much (there isn’t a search function on them, like a computer has!).
  6. I throw these sketchbooks all over the place, so when I have a thought I scribble it down quickly.
  7. I try and find the pattern between things, and connect the dots between random things just for fun when I’m stuck in a rut. For instance, when I see the color yellow around me, I start to focus on finding yellow things — stuff that I didn’t notice before will show themselves to me. I’m heightening my sense of awareness because I’m narrowing my focus to one thing.
  8. Doing things differently helps. I love calligraphy, but sometimes I seem to be stuck in a rut — it seems that I could only write in a certain way! So I stop, and see what others are doing, and try to analyze what I could do differently. A little more pressure on the downward stroke? Or how about adding more flourishes to that letter? It took me about a week of constant practice to free up my hand. If you’re stumped for ideas, have a look at Keri Smith’s 100 ideas to get you started.
  9. Practice, practice, practice. Creativity is like a muscle that you need to flex regularly. I dread staring at a blank piece of paper, but everything begins with that first stroke. I’m a perfectionist, so I train myself to not use erasers at all when I’m drawing. And if I do make mistakes, I start on a new piece of paper — that way I let new ideas in and not just dwell on what I previously did.


Here are some books in my collection that I pick up whenever I need a boost:

  1. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: I love this book. Twyla is a dancer and choreographer, but a lot of the things she has to say cuts across all disciplines.
  2. How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith: Keri reminds everyone to put on their explorer goggles and look at the world with new eyes — I did a review of her book here.
  3. Living Out Loud by Keri Smith: Although the book is a little girlish for guys, I love the article she wrote about how to find what you love to do.
  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: This is an amazing book that I pick up and read again and again. The message is simple — you won’t find what you’re looking for until you follow through on your dreams.
  5. How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees and Nicholas Blechman: I like how they talk to illustrators and get their feedback on running a creative business.
  6. Lines & Shapes by Lena and Mav: Amazing artists and beautiful, beautiful pictures. I have volume no. 5 and I treasure it.
  7. The first issue of the Good to Know project: I like keeping a copy on my bookshelf so I can read up on what my friends have to say about being creatively stuck.


Managing Time - Good to Know issue 3
Managing Time - Good to Know issue 3
Art Education - Good to Know 5
Art Education - Good to Know 5
$8.00 USD
Creativity - How to Overcome Stumbling Blocks - Good to Know Issue 1
Creativity - How to Overcome Stumbling Blocks - Good to Know Issue 1
Gathering Autumn postcard set
Gathering Autumn postcard set
Black Forest Print
Black Forest Print
Genius (Love) - Illustrated Poem-Book
Genius (Love) - Illustrated Poem-Book


  • nomadcraftsetc

    nomadcraftsetc said 9 years ago

    I definitely agree that practice is a great way to get motivated to be creative. I love this little list! I have printed it and will keep it handy to stay motivated! Thanks so much!

  • ThePeachTree

    ThePeachTree said 9 years ago

    The sitting still concept is SO true! And I always feel more on my game when I stick to a schedule as well :) What an awesome article! Off to check out the recommended books!

  • rikrak

    rikrak said 9 years ago

    oh pikaland is so great! thanks for this, too! sorry i couldn't make the workshop! great article!

  • blockpartyprints

    blockpartyprints said 9 years ago

    Great article with some great ideas! I like the idea of finding a pattern between things. I'm off to check out those books!

  • vivikas

    vivikas said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks! n_n

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 9 years ago

    These are wonderful tips. I often times jot down my list of things to do before I go to bed. Heading to the library tomorrow. I'll be taking this list of books with me!

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 9 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for sharing :)

  • HandKnitHugs

    HandKnitHugs said 9 years ago

    wonderful article, thanks so much for inspiring

  • seababejewelry

    seababejewelry said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article. Thank you so much!

  • purplelemondesigns

    purplelemondesigns said 9 years ago

    Wow! Great article! Thank you so much for inspiring all of us to be more creative and how to get out of a rut...That is HUGE. You are a rock star!

  • littlealouette

    littlealouette said 9 years ago

    awesome- thanks

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane said 9 years ago

    Very good tips; especially using lists, sticking to a schedule, and keeping sketchbooks around for when you have that "aha!" idea!

  • woolandspool

    woolandspool said 9 years ago

    Very inspiring, great article.

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie said 9 years ago

    Yes, I agree - VERY inspiring!! LOVE that Black Forest print!! Sticking to a Schedule is the only way I can keep my act together! Craft on!

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 9 years ago

    what a wonderful article!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 9 years ago

    so inspiring!

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • FrillyButts

    FrillyButts said 9 years ago

    What great tips! I love the 100 tips by Keri Smith.

  • NaturalUniqueJewelry

    NaturalUniqueJewelry said 9 years ago

    great article,thanks so much for taking the time to share this.

  • AudreyGardenLady

    AudreyGardenLady said 9 years ago

    I am soooo into the boxes for various projects and committments. I think I would just go insane without them. Sometimes ideas wake me up at night, so I have to jot them down in order to get back to sleep. I keep a little notepad by my bed just for that. Love your tip for finding patterns between things!! Audrey

  • Fairyfolk

    Fairyfolk said 9 years ago

    Oh, for more time in the day!!!! And, what I could accomplish if I were an octopus!! Great tips... Thank you! Blessings and magic.

  • cassidycay

    cassidycay said 9 years ago

    I love these ideas! I need to get more organized. (I have plans to get organized, does that count?)

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 9 years ago

    so many great ideas and concepts that I haven't really thought about before. i'm a vintage seller, but still these ideas can be very helpful.

  • slidesideways

    slidesideways said 9 years ago

    What a great article. This is something I strive to do everyday, so it's nice to see how others approach the act of staying creative on a daily bases, I think I'll try some of your techniques myself! Thanks for sharing.

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 9 years ago

    Thank you! Great tips and points here!! Ren

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for a great article PikaLand! I use scraps of paper to sketch new jewelry ideas, and then transfer them to my notebook.

  • Morado

    Morado said 9 years ago

    I love Pikaland! lol...thanks so much for sharing these tips :o)

  • blackdogstudio

    blackdogstudio said 9 years ago

    Great info! Now...can someone tell me how to CREATE more time in the day??? : )

  • ArchaicLeatherworks

    ArchaicLeatherworks said 9 years ago

    I like that one about writing things down before bed! I have trouble falling asleep because I'm thinking about what needs to be done tomorow lol

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks so much fro sharing.

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 9 years ago

    Another great book is "Picture This" by Molly Bang - for adults and kids alike!

  • HinasApprentice

    HinasApprentice said 9 years ago

    Love Keri Smith's work and life philosophy. Adore Paulo Coelho. I'm off to explore the other links on here.

  • thewonderlandstudio

    thewonderlandstudio said 9 years ago

    good list!

  • Splurge

    Splurge said 9 years ago

    I'll read this again and again. Thanks for sharing your insight! I'll put those books on my Christmas wish list.

  • one9designs

    one9designs said 9 years ago

    Pikaland, you have a great gift for encouraging others who are living (or at least trying to live!) the creative life - thanks for sharing!

  • addiepearl

    addiepearl said 9 years ago


  • BeadinBabe

    BeadinBabe said 9 years ago

    wow, wonderful tips! I love the notes before bed thing, I am going to try it, maybe I will sleep better!! :)

  • meredithfenwick

    meredithfenwick said 9 years ago

    i have been thinking so much about creativity lately - thank you for the wonderful tips!

  • GatheringSplendor

    GatheringSplendor said 9 years ago

    thanks very nice--love new ideas and tips.

  • CLineCreations

    CLineCreations said 9 years ago

    Great tips, thank you.

  • mamafamilias

    mamafamilias said 9 years ago

    #3 has helped me kick a lifetime of poor sleep! Since my projects are bendable, I use large ziplock bags instead of boxes. They be stashed anywhere and are see through.

  • ArtsyCraftsy2

    ArtsyCraftsy2 said 9 years ago

    what awesome tips, thanks~!

  • DoraArtDesignStudio

    DoraArtDesignStudio said 9 years ago

    I'm reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and it seems it's helping quite a bit. I heard The Creative Habit is also very good. Good tips here!

  • megalunostudio

    megalunostudio said 9 years ago

    Oh, thank you, thank you! These are such great tips to organizing my often-muddled creative process. So often I've got so much that I want to do, that I can't figure out where to start, so I'm building structure into my day, and now I'll be organizing my workspace by project as well. Great advice! I also loved the Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo!

  • TStarCreations

    TStarCreations said 9 years ago

    Thanks!!! I was just thinking I need to be more creative...It just wasn't my year...

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • lisaroy

    lisaroy said 9 years ago

    great article - time to go for a walk and get inspired....

  • pinkytoeclothing

    pinkytoeclothing said 9 years ago

    wonderful tips and wonderful picks!

  • PersistentGreen

    PersistentGreen said 9 years ago

    Excellent article. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I've tried many of these ideas, but hadn't thought of looking for the pattern--I really like that concept. I'll have to try it!

  • PixelWildChild

    PixelWildChild said 9 years ago

    Great tips! It is extremely important to keep always experimentimg and trying new things... and also keep an eye around us to don't miss anything interesting and inspiring! ;O)

  • MyMoms

    MyMoms said 9 years ago

    Great article, very inspiring! Thank you!

  • michon

    michon said 9 years ago

    I enjoyed your tips - it's always fun to get a peek into someone else's creative process!

  • Serrelynda

    Serrelynda said 9 years ago

    your tips will definitely help me.. be less "scattered"..

  • pilpush

    pilpush said 9 years ago

    Helpful tips! Thanks!!

  • bijougirldesigns

    bijougirldesigns said 9 years ago

    Sorry I missed the workshop - but those are great tips!

  • aimeesarmoire

    aimeesarmoire said 9 years ago

    YES!! There IS help out there for a scatterbrained-creative-likes-to-try-new-things-all-the-time Etsian like me! Thank you, thank you!!!

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the tips! I need to try scattering sketchbooks/journals everywhere. I keep too many ideas in my head, sometimes they get forgotten!

  • Handworks3

    Handworks3 said 9 years ago

    I find that meditation helps my creativity-especially at bedtime.

  • hopefullworld

    hopefullworld said 9 years ago

    Making lists is a great way to organize--another tip is to do the "worst thing first." In other words, do the thing that you most dread doing--then you are good to go for the rest of the day. Being such a hopeless bag lady, I organize my creative projects in bags--I have them all over the house and then it's easy to take one with me if I think I'll have some down time in my day. Now is a great time to be more disciplined--just before the holiday rush that everyone is talking about. :>)

  • SeventhCloudStudio

    SeventhCloudStudio said 9 years ago

    I love these tips, and though some of them I already use, there are some great new ideas in here! Thanks for the fantastic reading list and for reminding me to make creativity part of every day...

  • Amievoltaire

    Amievoltaire said 9 years ago

    Excellent Thank you

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios said 9 years ago

    Wonderful tips! Being a full-time mom and simultaneously self-employed I am always seeking *balance* and *fresh ideas*. The tips offer it all!

  • anne4bags

    anne4bags said 9 years ago

    Again, wonderful tips. I especially like #7, about narrowing your focus to expand it!! A neat trick! Thanks too for the book list. I love Twla Tharp's ballets and would like to read what she says.

  • WharfSisters

    WharfSisters said 9 years ago

    great tips, thanks heaps!

  • OwlandMouse

    OwlandMouse said 9 years ago

    Wow! Our habits are uncannily similar!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 9 years ago

    Great article! I agree that "The Alchemist" is a wonderful and pertinent book for all. Reading "A New Earth" has helped me cut some of the bs from my life as well.

  • BusyBeadLady

    BusyBeadLady said 9 years ago

    I love #7. Took a look at greens today!

  • karuski

    karuski said 9 years ago

    Great read, thanks so much! Also, creativity often needs time and space to bloom. It doesn't necessarily come on demand or in a stressful situation. Encouraging environment, supportive people around you and the ability to dream help a lot too!

  • piddix

    piddix said 9 years ago

    Love the book list especially. Just ordered three of them from my local library. Thanks.

  • Kimmay

    Kimmay said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing such great ideas! I already do #3 and I have to start doing #4 asap! I can't wait to read some of these books and to start using my creative muscle.

  • aptrick

    aptrick said 9 years ago

    tip top

  • compassionmalas

    compassionmalas said 9 years ago

    These are such great tips on unleashing our creativity. Thank you!

  • LeahSawyer

    LeahSawyer said 9 years ago

    'The Alchemist' is one of my favourite books, I'll have to check out your other suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

  • happyfamily

    happyfamily said 9 years ago

    Wow, what a great list! Thanks so much, I am going to make a to do list RIGHT NOW!

  • Pantora

    Pantora said 9 years ago


  • VeronicaRStudio

    VeronicaRStudio said 9 years ago

    I loved the article, thank you so much for the valuable information! We all get stalled from time to time and you have some wonderful tips to keep going!

  • lealerjcreates

    lealerjcreates said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Love the tips!

  • kikkucraft

    kikkucraft said 9 years ago

    ! T h a n k Y o u S o M u c h !

  • EmbellishYourself

    EmbellishYourself said 9 years ago

    Really great article! Thanks so much :)

  • lemonadehandmade

    lemonadehandmade said 9 years ago

    this is a great reminder- I forget sometimes that doing something calming and restorative is needed to boost creativity. Will definitely be taking a note from this- thanks!

  • wildcubs

    wildcubs said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • IBWAMStore

    IBWAMStore said 9 years ago

    I love the part about exercising creativity. Because that's how amazing things come about ♥ -------- Indie Bands With a Mission 100% of all profits benefit Washington DC food banks.

  • TheArtOfJoy

    TheArtOfJoy said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much!

  • kittybblove

    kittybblove said 9 years ago

    Great list!

  • Planetpollyanna

    Planetpollyanna said 9 years ago

    Fabulous list, I love lists and swear by them. I accomplish so much more with a list created the night before. Thanks so much for the extra inspiration!

  • ShimmeringSky

    ShimmeringSky said 9 years ago

    This article couldn't have appeared at a more opportune time for me. I've been struggling (literally) with a new concept for a product and had been doing prototype after prototype - almost to the exclusion of everything else. I took a much needed break, sat down to read this article, and did the finding a pattern in things exercise using the colour blue. It relaxed me and took my mind off my frustrating project, and when I came back to it later, the solution I'd been fighting for came to me almost immediately! Amy deserves equal billing on the new item I'll be listing soon, because without her tips, I may not have found the solution - many thanx!

  • vantiani

    vantiani said 9 years ago

    Oh these are just so so good! Love those zines too! Thanks much for sharing!

  • kinzaw

    kinzaw said 9 years ago

    This is great! thanks :)

  • philosophi

    philosophi said 9 years ago

    Great tips, I never thought of writing a list the night before each day. I have sketchbooks lying everywhere too, but my problem is my ideas then get spread out in different books!

  • buffet

    buffet said 9 years ago

    Thanks the sharing ! great one

  • zombuki

    zombuki said 9 years ago

    Yay for Pikaland! I ready their blog every day, whee!

  • prairieboutique

    prairieboutique said 9 years ago

    A great way to start my day! Loved all your tips and ideas, thank you!

  • sweetgalaxy

    sweetgalaxy said 9 years ago

    Great advice. Thank you. :) Sometimes we lose sight of the obvious things as your tip no 1. :)

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 9 years ago

    Oh wow! I'm getting goosebumps reading all of your awesome comments -- I'm glad that it helped (even if it was in a small way!) x

  • blissfulcolors

    blissfulcolors said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks so much!

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 9 years ago

    This is a fanTAStic article!! Definitely bookmarking for future reference!! Thank you! :)

  • WhiteEarthStudio

    WhiteEarthStudio said 9 years ago

    Thanks for all of the time you put in this. I'm checking out some of your resources.

  • ThimbleNest

    ThimbleNest said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing; especially the books!

  • ocasiocasa

    ocasiocasa said 9 years ago

    I was trying to pick my favorite---but they are all so equally pertinent. Thank you, so much, for sharing.

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 9 years ago

    Creativity breeds creativity. I like your ways of getting out of a rut!

  • BirdTrouble

    BirdTrouble said 9 years ago

    This was an amazing article. It was such an insperation just reading this. Thank you!

  • absolutelysmall

    absolutelysmall said 9 years ago

    This article was just the boost that I needed! Thanks, Pikaland! (And Etsy!)

  • FreZa

    FreZa said 9 years ago

    That was great! Just when I was feeling that things weren't fresh anymore. Great timming! thaks a lot Pikaland and Etsy for this Storque article

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 9 years ago

    Very good tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • tootsweethandbags

    tootsweethandbags said 9 years ago

    good ideas! i like the boxes - i do that! :)

  • BellyDancePrincess

    BellyDancePrincess said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • voleurdebijoux

    voleurdebijoux said 9 years ago

    Fabulous article and wonderful tips to stay creative and fresh! Thank you! :)

  • PipocaHandmade

    PipocaHandmade said 9 years ago

    Great advice and picks! Thank you for sharing!

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 9 years ago

    many thanks for the positive points here~

  • valkasinskas

    valkasinskas said 9 years ago

    Thank you, we truly need to feed our creativity in order for it to flourish!

  • Kiie

    Kiie said 9 years ago

    Always love Pikaland :D

  • LOOKAjewelry

    LOOKAjewelry said 9 years ago

    Great information! :) I feel inspired to hit the library! Thanks!

  • sweetpeapatternprint

    sweetpeapatternprint said 9 years ago

    Thanks for such a great article! I like to keep a book by my bed for when I wake up, I like to scribble down something that I've dreamt about that could inspire something new :) Checking out that book list too!

  • DreamsinSeams

    DreamsinSeams said 9 years ago

    I love this list! Can't wait to read some of these books. Another good one is "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron - lots of ideas to clear your head, keep creativity flowing, and to stay open and positive about new ideas.

  • SeptemberStars

    SeptemberStars said 9 years ago

    Some great advice. Thanks!!

  • LambCandy

    LambCandy said 9 years ago

    what a great article, and some much-appreciated tips!

  • maggie16

    maggie16 said 9 years ago

    awesome article...validates so many things that i already do, and some wonderful new ideas! thanks heaps! xo

  • thefindvintage

    thefindvintage said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiration (and the links)!

  • beyondtherabbithole

    beyondtherabbithole said 9 years ago

    Great Ideas!

  • 7StarsStudio

    7StarsStudio said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great article. Wonderful ideas to keep the creativity flowing.

  • FancyThatCookies

    FancyThatCookies said 9 years ago

    love the the ideas!

  • NorthviewJewels

    NorthviewJewels said 9 years ago

    Great tips. These ideas have already got me thinking about what I can do next!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 9 years ago

    great ideas....thanks

  • Northernlodge

    Northernlodge said 9 years ago

    Now I lay me down to sleep-I could actually sleep if I took the time to write down things-and let my brain rest-THANKS for the wonderful tips- smoochies Patti

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 9 years ago


  • modernbird

    modernbird said 9 years ago

    just what i needed to read today, thank you Pikaland!

  • barefootbeadshawaii

    barefootbeadshawaii said 9 years ago

    I feel like writing things down when I think of them really helps me remember an awesome project idea that I wanted to try. Sometimes I get great ideas when I'm surfing or hiking that I think people would really love and I just try to focus in on that idea and elaborate. Thanks for all the tips! Keep up the great work!

  • SmoreGasBored

    SmoreGasBored said 9 years ago

    I love that a way to be more creative is to have a routine! That seems oxymoronic, but I will try that a little more. I keep a journal at my desk at work to jot down random creative thoughts. My latest - how to price time warps. Really - because scientists will create things, but not figure out how to sell them. I want to help!

  • IronsideImpastos

    IronsideImpastos said 9 years ago

    The night time list is a great plan.. I am always staying awake thinking of new ideas and themes.. although sometimes you just have to get up and paint.:)

  • tanglesastangled

    tanglesastangled said 9 years ago

    Noticed some others mentioned The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron...this book is awesome. I will totally check out these other books, we forget our creativity needs to be nurtured and cared for just like our bodies!

  • zueeuz

    zueeuz said 9 years ago

    My problem is I have too many things crashing around in my head. I'm trying to find some tools to help me focus my interests, organize my time, and get motivated. You've got some good tips here and I've got a couple books to check out at the library. Thanks!

  • felicitycrew

    felicitycrew said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, highly appreciated and just in time!

  • StoryOfASeed

    StoryOfASeed said 9 years ago

    Thanks !

  • Imagesbylynnann

    Imagesbylynnann said 9 years ago

    I am a list person too! If I am bed and I think of something, I jot it down so I too can get restfully! Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas and books! I'm checking them out as I type this!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 9 years ago

    Thanks for info.

  • MagneticKids

    MagneticKids said 9 years ago

    I love Pikaland! What a great list...

  • GeeZees

    GeeZees said 9 years ago

    what great advice and such great reads....

  • funkymonkeythreads

    funkymonkeythreads said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the tips!

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the tips and names of books for referral. Thanks!

  • vintagegirldezigns

    vintagegirldezigns said 9 years ago

    Great advice and references. thanks for the inspiration:)

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 9 years ago

    Part 2 of the recap is already available if you're interested in reading! :) Thanks so much for the shoutout everyone! x Amy

  • mykky

    mykky said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the tips!

  • theaxx

    theaxx said 9 years ago

    OOoh i love all these tips really fantastic ideas, pikaland is so very inspiring every time!!! that said... I think spoonful (tm) will be too... let me know what you think.

  • SpiritualAnimal

    SpiritualAnimal said 9 years ago

    Keri Smith is one of my personal heros. :)

  • OpusMuse

    OpusMuse said 9 years ago

    Interesting article & useful tips to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing! I find that I often get new ideas from the daily things that happen around me when I'm moving around doing things, not sitting stagnant in front of the computer, like take a walk, things I see on a bus ride, flipping through a book/magazine, looking at my 3yr old's artwork. It's also good to look at designs from other discipline other than your own to find fresh ideas & get yourself out of designing similar things in the same industry.

  • Onbendedneedle

    Onbendedneedle said 9 years ago

    wonderful article, thanks! now, it's back to work time!

  • Onbendedneedle

    Onbendedneedle said 9 years ago

    inspiration comes from everywhere...i even dream some ideas, when i sleep

  • taintbosh

    taintbosh said 9 years ago


  • ZuliDesigns

    ZuliDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the book suggestions-I will have to check a few of them out.

  • edyslittlebirds

    edyslittlebirds said 9 years ago

    What a great article :)

  • ShortandSweets

    ShortandSweets said 9 years ago

    Thanks for putting all these thoughts down on (virtual) paper. I am a former dancer, so I can back you up on the fact that a lot of ideas from the dance world transfer over to other spheres. I love the idea of doing a to-do list the night *before* since I usually do mine in the morning thanks!

  • neskita

    neskita said 9 years ago

    Great tips - thank you!

  • ferrytalesgifts

    ferrytalesgifts said 9 years ago

    I keep a journal next to my bed. Not uncommon for me to get up in the middle of the night to jot down a thought that pops into my head. Thanks!

  • MakingHappy

    MakingHappy said 9 years ago

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Will become a regular. You've got my ADD brain zigging all over the place! Thanks!


    LANCERIKA said 9 years ago

    Your to do list is so creative Amy, grateful for this amazing article!

  • TimmerysBebeBling

    TimmerysBebeBling said 9 years ago

    Great info and advice THANKS!!! It is sometimes hard to get come up with new pattern and color ideas when creating my hair bows. Thanks for the advice!

  • itsmolly

    itsmolly said 9 years ago

    Loved the article and tips! Your blog is awesome (and your work :o) Thank you! ~ Molly

  • RockArtiste

    RockArtiste said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! Great article.

  • cherdak

    cherdak said 9 years ago

    Great article ! Thank you !

  • RingAndCrow

    RingAndCrow said 9 years ago

    Thanks! Great ideas. It is hard to strike a balance between being overwhelmed by all ideas and information that is available these days and finding some creative inspiration. I like the way using daily ritual, such as your morning bath, feels like it has the potential to help with balancing that struggle. I'll be keeping an eye on your project for future inspiration!

  • HazyDaisy

    HazyDaisy said 9 years ago

    Read this early in the morning and now I'm off to have a great day armed with all this inspiration! Thank you for a really positive uplifting article.

  • Gwendolynsdesign

    Gwendolynsdesign said 9 years ago

    Great ideas I believe the key is to find your individual creative muse. Finding new ones are great!

  • charisg08

    charisg08 said 9 years ago

    I so agree that creativity gets better the more you exercise it. New ideas are so much fun!

  • litapsilverj

    litapsilverj said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the reawakening! Nothing like a shower in the morning to cleanse the soul. One of the things I do when I am in a rut is to go through all my stones and beads and start pulling things out at random. Then I look at the pile and start mixing and matching things. If something starts to look like it might work, I take that out to the shop and put it on my bench. Then leave it for a few minutes and go back in. Nine times out of ten, when I go back in and look at it, other ideas start popping and the creativity starts to flow. You sound really organized and thanks for the creative ideas!

  • creationsbyeve

    creationsbyeve said 9 years ago

    great tips!

  • HappyMooseGardenArt

    HappyMooseGardenArt said 9 years ago

    I THRIVE on info like this....thanks SO much!!!

  • 12anglesart

    12anglesart said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the amazing ideas!

  • LeifJewelry

    LeifJewelry said 9 years ago

    I definitely keep journals for different subjects! I have a whole stack of them, plus sketchbooks.

  • Imburton

    Imburton said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for the tips. I have been stumbling on which project I'm in right now and where to keep everything.

  • MomentsByMelanie

    MomentsByMelanie said 9 years ago

    I love how you have both structure and organization combined with openess and freedom at times! Thanks for the book suggestions too.

  • GrannyGrant

    GrannyGrant said 9 years ago

    Etsy is very inspiring! Love it!

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for the love everyone! I'm so happy to hear that the article has helped some of you kickstart your journey into creating on a daily basis!

  • gfarge2010

    gfarge2010 said 9 years ago

    So Inspired!

  • beauxoxo

    beauxoxo said 9 years ago

    This was such an inspiring read, thank you so much <3 xoxo

  • saraes26

    saraes26 said 8 years ago

    "The Creative Habit" was the first book I read when I decided to launch S2 Stationery and Design. Best book I've ever read about doing something! Nice list!

  • RobinMariaPedrero

    RobinMariaPedrero said 8 years ago

    Great article. I always enjoy to read about other peoples ways of catching their creativity!

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead said 8 years ago

    Fabulous tips and advice, thanks for the inspirational post.

  • spiritcleanslate

    spiritcleanslate said 8 years ago

    Another testament as to how much Etsy offers us, great contributors such as Amy Ng. I want to thank you for all your wisdom and inspiration that you have provided. Very nice indeed.

  • birdynum

    birdynum said 8 years ago

    i agree wholeheartedly about taking a break and experiencing things to get your creative juices flowing - when i get in a creative rut i pack the pram up and take the boys out for a walk to the park and always come home with a fresh mind and sometimes with at least one new idea (so do the boys!). Also love the 'focus on one thing' suggestions - i'm definitely going to try that!

  • SpackleTheGap

    SpackleTheGap said 8 years ago

    I love the inspiring words. Its nice to hear advice on how to keep the creative process moving. I think its something we can all relate to :)

  • aussiejen

    aussiejen said 8 years ago

    So inspiring..... Thank you for organising my very scattered head overloaded with creative ideas that never seem to stop. Love the idea of having boxes for each project and books for each area to jot stuff down.Thanks again!

  • yoshibearstudio

    yoshibearstudio said 8 years ago

    This article needs to be published in national women's magazine or make it to an Oprah level - what the world needs is more creativity! : D

  • LittleHouseMonograms

    LittleHouseMonograms said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for your insight and great advice! I can't wait to check out these books! Enjoyed your blog as well.

  • hamatova

    hamatova said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the ideas!!!!!!!!!!! (@-@)

  • BeachGlassGems

    BeachGlassGems said 8 years ago

    Great article! I especially like the list always helps me feel like I've accomplished something when I can check an item off my list. Great blog.

  • springflowerchild

    springflowerchild said 8 years ago

    Thanks for this article. I love the idea of starting the day with a relaxing bath and a to do list. I also find that when I practice I get more creative. Nice reminder!

  • feltmeupdesigns

    feltmeupdesigns said 8 years ago

    great ideas, it's so easy to get stuck in a rut... when I get like that I go and watch the birds nesting in the cliffs near me for a bit... or just get out of the house and go for a walk

  • oswaldflump

    oswaldflump said 8 years ago

    Love Pikaland blog and Amy's flickr groups. Thanks for this post.

  • zime

    zime said 8 years ago

    Thank you Amy!!!! :DDDD

  • angeldamico

    angeldamico said 8 years ago

    great article Amy!

  • rhiannonleo

    rhiannonleo said 8 years ago

    Actually, I disagree that creativity is like a muscle you need to exercise. You either have it or you don't. It can't be forced. I know lots of people who have the will to be creative and artistic but they just don't have the 'eye' and, I'm afraid, are always bound to produce generic and derivative work. Myself, I find the muse is either here or not, I can't summon her at will. There are times when nothing I do seems to work. Other times, currently, as a matter of fact, she - my muse - returns with a vengeance and everything I touch works spectacularly. I have learned, over many years to enjoy, rather than fear the lulls, as sometimes the drive to create is overwhelming.

  • stephaniesoderborg

    stephaniesoderborg said 8 years ago

    Great article! I really loved the idea about focusing on one thing, like yellow, and new items and ideas start to come together. I am going to china town tomorrow to do some shopping and I am going to try it out!

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 8 years ago

    Aaww thanks so much for your great feedback everyone! :)

  • VibrantTrains

    VibrantTrains said 8 years ago

    Very creative picks.

  • MariesJewelryshop

    MariesJewelryshop said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great Advice! I can definately use it.

  • RipandStitchDiva

    RipandStitchDiva said 8 years ago

    I love what you said about practicing and flexing your creative muscle often to keep it in shape - so true. I will definitely use this great advice!

  • LBoutique

    LBoutique said 8 years ago

    WONDERFUL! Thank you!

  • Viverre

    Viverre said 8 years ago

    A really great article! I've just added a bunch of the books you recommended to my amazon wishlist! :)

  • kathartstudio

    kathartstudio said 8 years ago

    Love this! Thank you!

  • ImagineThatCustDesig

    ImagineThatCustDesig said 8 years ago

    Thanks!! Amy, I really appreciate your sharing the advice from The Creative Habit, allocating a box for each project your involved in. This will work for me, I am so right brained and often find myself disorganized.THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Tammy

  • boygirlparty

    boygirlparty said 8 years ago

    love this, amy! bookmarking it forever and ever :)

  • MemoryBeanDesigns

    MemoryBeanDesigns said 8 years ago

    Fabulous article! I am sooo getting the book "Living out Loud". I am currently working a full time "non creative" job and trying to get my creative fun job running to quit the first. It takes time, but I'm def. dedicated!!! Thanks for the much needed inspiration:-)

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 8 years ago

    Great tips!! Thanks!!

  • ButtermilkVintage

    ButtermilkVintage said 8 years ago

    What critically important tips! I focus my etsy store on vintage things and just do creative stuff for fun (for now), which I think often causes me to de-prioritize the creative process. Invaluable article. Thank you!

  • UneekDollDesigns

    UneekDollDesigns said 8 years ago

    Good article, I do the "keeping an idea book handy for ideas" ... I am ever searching and getting inspiration for ideas so I write them in a large notebook along with any other ideas to go with it- I never run out of ideas this way!

  • NavyBlueNotes

    NavyBlueNotes said 8 years ago

    Brilliant tips. Great for Etsy rookies and vets! Thanks!

  • TheOrganicIntrovert

    TheOrganicIntrovert said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! I really enjoyed the lists of books also!! Karen

  • Chandeluse

    Chandeluse said 8 years ago

    Good advice, I went to the shore and got a whole mess of new ideas! thanks.

  • HeartfeltbyHeather

    HeartfeltbyHeather said 8 years ago

    Love the sketchbook idea! By keeping ideas and inspirations together it keeps your motivation going and focused.

  • SMboutique

    SMboutique said 8 years ago

    Thanks very much for sharing those tips with us all,Very inspiring and refueling!:)Have a great day! x

  • trinityrocks

    trinityrocks said 8 years ago

    Excellent advice, thank you.

  • StelmaDesigns

    StelmaDesigns said 8 years ago

    The list idea is spot on! I have to remember to do this more often and not just for the groceries! I do lay in bed and fret at times...Thank you for the great tips and list of books!

  • FrenchKnot2U

    FrenchKnot2U said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the book list! And, thank you for inspiring me to keep following my passion and not to worry too much when I get creatively stuck. I feel better that I am not the only one who steps into a creative tar pit every now and again. I believe something good comes out of these trials-if nothing more than learning something new about yourself and your own creative process.

  • loriyab

    loriyab said 8 years ago

    Great advice. I do the sketchbook idea as well. Sometimes I have too much stuff in my head so I have to write it all down. Thanks for the tips.

  • Lunarianart

    Lunarianart said 8 years ago

    Brilliant work, I to need to get some order back into my day, and stop spinning ;) off to find my note book! thank you x

  • fantasydesign

    fantasydesign said 8 years ago

    thank you Makes me think, very good thing

  • MartiniJewels

    MartiniJewels said 8 years ago

    Great tips - it IS important to take time for creativity. Another good thing to keep in your sketchbook are recipes of creations - what was used exactly to make a successful item.

  • thirddayluxurysoaps

    thirddayluxurysoaps said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the organizational tips. I especially like the one where you use a different box for each project. I am on that right now. Now I know what to do with all those empty shoe boxes..Cynthia

  • art4ta

    art4ta said 8 years ago

    Thank you !

  • Gabsie

    Gabsie said 8 years ago

    I need more time to practice all my ideas...

  • elidupont

    elidupont said 8 years ago

    Wow!!!!!! Your article is so helpful!!! I especially like the idea for the journals, the nightly "to do" list, and Keri Smith’s 100 ideas. Thank you so much for helping to spark my creativity and keep the flood of inspirations organized. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • maryvican

    maryvican said 8 years ago

    thanks for sharing your tips- I like the idea that I can "unstick" myself at any time. It's a relief! :)

  • Lillypicadilly

    Lillypicadilly said 8 years ago

    I really liked reading these ideas I hope to be more creative and catch up.

  • vroberts1017

    vroberts1017 said 8 years ago

    Yes, I agree: practice, practice, practice. I teach jewelry making and I'm constantly telling that to my students. Other "P" words for artists and sellers: Patience and perseverance.

  • VintageStyleJewelry

    VintageStyleJewelry said 8 years ago

    While creativity is one thing, I have boxes of beads broochs and buttons all over the place lol

  • gypsybandit

    gypsybandit said 8 years ago

    right at the time when i am needing a boost to my creativity, i stumble upon this article. thankyou so much! I now have heaps of sources and processes to keep myself on the game! thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!

  • SavoyFaire

    SavoyFaire said 8 years ago

    I'm with you! I keep a production schedule to try to stay on track then a daily list as there are other little follow ups I need to remember as well. The rest about the same as you. Little boxes and bins with projects, things in line next, etc. When you get busy you really need to already be organized. Separate shipping area also organized big plus! LOVE clipboards and they're all over my house also with sketches and names for new creations as I think of them, etc! My boyfriend saw me writing in the dark the other night and I brought what it was into the light to show him. He couldn't believe it! lol Gotta write it down before I forget! Yes I have tried the Seinfeld thing where I wake up and jot something during the night. I have no idea though what the heck they mean the next day every time I try it! lol Thanks for sharing!

  • theblackbirdsings

    theblackbirdsings said 8 years ago

    What an enjoyable article - I love these tips! Really great advice, Amy. Thank you!

  • DaisiesandDamsels

    DaisiesandDamsels said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips.

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 8 years ago

    GREAT article, great tips!

  • mudijudi

    mudijudi said 8 years ago

    Very good article....Thanks!!

  • DiannasDivineDesigns

    DiannasDivineDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time out to share with the Etsy community

  • SallyManke

    SallyManke said 8 years ago

    Off to the library to order books from your list! Super article. Thank You.

  • Smokinmudproductions

    Smokinmudproductions said 8 years ago

    Great information! I have found that if I don't write things down at night, I can't sleep and then my productivity the next day has been affected. I love this article. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta said 8 years ago

    GREAT tips! thank you, off to see your recommended list of books

  • Diannasdiapercakes

    Diannasdiapercakes said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! I keep concept containers, I keep putting cute items that go together into it then one day I look and I have a baby diaper cake! I also keep a notebook handy for writing down cake I would eventually love to make. I have not hit burnout yet but thanks for the info for when I do!

  • ennadoolf

    ennadoolf said 8 years ago

    A very relevant read - thank you.

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls said 8 years ago

    Very interesting. Great tips. Thank you for sharing!

  • ionkah

    ionkah said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • bypamelakay

    bypamelakay said 8 years ago

    I love the idea of having different boxes for different projects. That's keep my mind at easy that I have all I need when I open the box on a project. Thanks!

  • BellaPuzzlesToo

    BellaPuzzlesToo said 8 years ago

    What a great reading list - I will check those out. And thanks for the tip about different boxes for different projects. My desk could use a system like that! Wonderful interview. Thanks.

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 8 years ago

    The no eraser idea is great! Never really thought about it like that. Thanks for this :) definitely very helpful!

  • HotelOfThings

    HotelOfThings said 8 years ago

    Simple, clear and inspiring...

  • happeemonkee

    happeemonkee said 8 years ago

    Thank you for this wonderful interview. It's great to know the routine of a creative + successful person. It's definitely my routine to start reading one Etsy interview/ article a day (sometimes I cheat and read more :))

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 8 years ago

    Thanks everyone! I'm so glad that this article is helping those who need it! :)


    THIMBLEandACORN said 8 years ago

    Great tips and book recommendations! I also find that it is SO SO important for me to always have a paper in my pocket and especially next to the bed for ideas. It is the worst feeling to think of a great idea, then think that it is so great that you could NEVER forget it, so you don't write it down, then later/in the morning you cannot for the life of you remember what it was. Moral: write down your ideas as soon as they pop in your head, then you can develop later.


    MADSZ said 8 years ago

    Thanks for these great pointers and book recommendations...really needed them! :)

  • BlacknickSculpture

    BlacknickSculpture said 8 years ago

    Good article! I like the idea of drawing without using an eraser. Talk about working without a net!

  • sashaandmax

    sashaandmax said 8 years ago

    thank you for such sound advice - the note books are an excellent idea so we dont miss that "moment" of creative inspiration, which for me often happens when I'm nowhere near my beading studio!

  • Four20mooN

    Four20mooN said 8 years ago

    Keri's links are not working. But Wonderful tips!

  • ModernNatureJewelry

    ModernNatureJewelry said 8 years ago

    Love the fueling creativity tips, especially #4 and #5. Thank you for the list, books and inspiration!

  • GraysCrafts

    GraysCrafts said 8 years ago

    I disagree that creativity is based on a sensual experience. I used to know an excellent sculptor who was totally blind. And how many amazing musicians there were who were deaf. As to the "sitting still" thing - that's what works best for me. I get my best ideas when I sit still with my eyes closed, totally turned off of the world. Then I open my eyes - and a new design is born. I guess we just all are very different. What works for some people, doesn't work for others.

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 8 years ago

    Pikaland is a wonderful place filled with color. Thank you for your tips! I need to start using notebooks, too. I find that I have ideas all the time, but sometimes they end up lost when I can't try them right away.

  • beadtrade

    beadtrade said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much, I thought I was the only one that felt just burt out on creative designing. I too have a family and feel like I'm being over worked. I've been studing the history of beads the last few years and I think this has helped me appreciate my collection of beads from all over the world and has allowed me to design from the soul. Loved the article & tips. Hannah

  • pikaland

    pikaland said 8 years ago

    Grayscraft: I totally agree that what works for some people may not work for others! Though the sculpture artist was blind, he was able to mould his sculptures via touch, am I right? I have also heard that deaf people rely on the placement of keys (via touch) to play music. It doesn't mean that all senses must be at play - some may be more heightened than others. Some of my best ideas come when I'm sitting still too, but there are times when going out and looking at things with fresh perspective will help jog memories of my experiences when I'm sitting still later.

  • pixeltwister

    pixeltwister said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this article & tips. I ♥ the notebook idea! pixeltwister

  • diaxeiros

    diaxeiros said 8 years ago

    You are right!!! If you are not organised you are lost. Maybe you have many ideas in your mind, you have much imagination, but if you don't find a way to put them in an order, then it's useless...

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry said 8 years ago

    For me the best thing to do is to keep a sketchbook near my bed. The most creative designs come to me at night and if i don't write it down, I tend to forget it! Thanks for all the great tips!

  • AngelaMeijer

    AngelaMeijer said 8 years ago

    Great yips! Thanks so much for sharing them.

  • FireflyFantasies1

    FireflyFantasies1 said 8 years ago

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing:)

  • creativepebbles

    creativepebbles said 8 years ago

    I was in a rut, now I feel inspired again. Thanks:)

  • EstellineDesigns

    EstellineDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I have to start putting my ideas in writing because I find that I forget how I want to make something or what to say about my designs when I list them. Most of my ideas come to me when I am doing other things around the home, I am going to start writing them in a notebook.

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou said 8 years ago

    Say about creativity stuck",the blog at the end of your articles was the best info to read. I could sort thro and read what I wanted AND come back to it at any point. Don't let idle things become your "frog", something you dread, putting it off while doing "idle" time, wasted chores. Doing 100 of those, never gets your "frog" done and wears you down. Instead, make a list and delve into the frog as soon as you can, even if you only start it. You will find, it frees up your emotions, lessens stress, therefore renews creativity. In the medical field, they say doing something else, like going to the store, or going outside, allows your mind to digest, that's why the idea comes forward more freely, when you least expect it. Thanks for the articles... hcg

  • PaintingByElaine

    PaintingByElaine said 8 years ago

    Trying to climb out of my rut! I've been inspired once again. Thank you. I'm beginning to look for new ideas, shapes, designs, etc...and have discovered that in my own home there are many: from my flower arrangements, objects in my decor, to the swirls on my light fixtures. Instead of jotting down ideas on scraps of paper that get lost in the shuffle, I realize I should use a sketch book or even a box as suggested. I just need to wake up and get busy painting instead of fretting about it!

  • zavatterb

    zavatterb said 7 years ago

    Thanks I love the idea of organizing notebooks !

  • petaljewellery

    petaljewellery said 7 years ago

    I like the idea of focusing on one colour or thing and noticing things that you didn't even realise were there! Good read, thanks for sharing...

  • MorphElle

    Sally from MorphElle said 6 years ago

    This works for me .My best ideas are the ones i've forgotten, now my moments are all logged. I appreciate this type of encouragement....YOU can do it !....GO do it ! Thanks :)

  • sunntan

    Tanja Lentzy from CardsByTanja said 6 years ago

    Sound advice! Thank you.

  • ninaneu1

    Nina Neu from NinaneusArtStudio said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article. Thank you!

  • CandyCollection

    CandyCollection from ArtsnCandies said 6 years ago

    This article is absolutely fantastic! <3

  • LindoRon

    ana garcia gonzalez del valle from LindoRon said 6 years ago

    I agree, be creative is about practice like a sport. The more you create, it takes you further and further, is addictive!!!

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