How to See in a New Way and Find Inspiration

Once a month I attend a local photography class, where we work on a yearlong project. It's a great way to commit to an idea and create work that needs more time to develop. I really love the monthly check ins where we evaluate our progress and readjust directions if needed. The one thing that I like best about this group is how it keeps me on track as an artist.

As a mother of three kids ranging in age between 13 and 21 it's still not always easy to focus on my creative work. Between organizing family life and being the designated chauffeur of our youngest there seems to be a shortcut that leads me right back into a life of never-ending appointments and to do lists. Once I'm in this busy world it can be very difficult to remember that I'm not only a loving wife and mother but also a creative person. I picture the creative part of my soul multicolored, bright and vibrant, like a kaleidoscope of ideas.

So, today, I want to show you five ways to keep the creative juices flowingwhen you're not feeling inspired:

  1. Exhibitions

    ...are the first things that come to my mind when I need to find inspiration. It honestly doesn't matter what kind of exhibition it is. To see other people's work never fails to spark something in me. I often follow up by reading biographies. Stories of likeminded humans who had to face challenges give me orientation and courage. If they can do it, I can do it!

  2. Music

    ...is like magic. I have playlists for all kind of occasions. My morning typically start with my daughter's music on our way to school, followed by classical music for my trip to the gym. At the gym I listen to today's hits because that kind of music keeps me going while I'm running on the treadmill. Then, there is music for working at the computer which is again mellow and quiet like Mozart or Jean-Michel Jarre so I can focus. Around dinner time I switch it up again. My all time favorite is Sam Smith, Cigarettes after Sex or Angus and Julia Stone for when I cook. These are various examples of what works for me, but you can obviously pick and choose the genres that work best for your needs. Ultimately, find some music to keep you going and motivated.

  3. Books

    I love all kind of books, old and new ones, romances, crime scenes and of course books about art and artists. Audible is my best friend during my long daily commutes around LA.

  4. Do new things 

    The same old routine might give you comfort, but will bore you long term. I found that having new experiences really got me out of my shell and excited to see the world in a new way.

  5. Friends

    Even though it's my last point on this list, I think it is one of the most important ones. When I feel down there is nothing better than to go and meet a friend. Share stories over a cup of coffee or glass of wine and go back home to see the world through different eyes.

During the last couple of weeks, I found inspiration in using a long forgotten lens (my Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet50). I call it my diva lens because it is so difficult to handle, yet a lot of fun. Like all Lensbaby lenses, it is a manual lens that allows you to set the focus point by twisting the lens. I took it to Beyond the Streets in Los Angeles, which is an annual exhibition about the global street art movement. That was a great combination of all the things that keep me going.

Here are some of the pictures that I created while being inspired by other peoples' works:

By bending the lens I created the areas of softness in the top of the picture.

By bending the lens I created the areas of softness in the top of the picture.

Slick’s take on the LA fingers made famous in a photo by Estevan Oriol.

Slick’s take on the LA fingers made famous in a photo by Estevan Oriol.

Another example for how you choose your focus point: while bending the lens to the right the left part of the picture falls into softness.

Another example for how you choose your focus point: while bending the lens to the right the left part of the picture falls into softness.

To work with a manual lens isn't always giving you tack sharp pictures. Especially not when the subject is moving. But I often fall for these kind of photos because of the feel. The lack of sharpness can create a fairy tale like story. Like in this picture where you don't know where this guy is coming from or heading to.

To work with a manual lens isn't always giving you tack sharp pictures. Especially not when the subject is moving. But I often fall for these kind of photos because of the feel. The lack of sharpness can create a fairy tale like story. Like in this picture where you don't know where this guy is coming from or heading to.

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Now I want to challenge you to find your own five things that get you inspired and working on the things you love!!!

This blog post is part of the blog circle I joined in January. We are a group of Lensbaby enthusiasts from all around the world. Each month we share a blog post of Lensbaby images. Every blog in the circle will end with a link to the next member. I hope you enjoyed reading about my take on finding inspiration. Please continue your journey and head over to Jools' blog. Thanks for reading and see you soon again with more stories!