Often when I’m ready to make a card, I come to the table with an idea of what I want to create. Other times I’m just in the mood to stamp, and don’t know what I want to make. If that sounds like you, here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Play. I know, I’ve already said that, but I can’t stress it enough. When I don’t have anything in mind, it is time to take a stamp set and just start experimenting. Do I want to color in the image? Emboss it? Cut it out? I don’t know until I’ve tried each of those ideas. In the process, I usually end up liking one of my experiments, and will build a card around it. Sometimes I don’t like anything I’ve tried, and all of them go in my experiments/rejects box. I keep the stamp set handy, and will sit down to play with it another day.
- Be willing to let go of something that isn’t working: One of my customers struggles when she’s been working on a design for a while, but it just isn’t coming together. She gets to a point and realizes she doesn’t like it, and walks away. But instead of putting the project in the rejects and experiments box, she leaves it out, thinking it will look better to her next time she sits down. Then when she’s ready to stamp again, she is facing a project she doesn’t like, and feels like she can’t start a new one until she finishes this one. Doesn’t that sound like she’s boxed herself into a corner?
Of course this means you have to have a rejects and experiments box!
- Look for inspiration. It comes in many forms, and sometimes from surprising places. Here are just a few examples:
- Look for color schemes you find pleasing in magazines and catalogues. One of my favorite sources is home decor catalogues, espectially the bed linens. I pull out my card stock sampler and find the Stampin' Up! colors that are closest to the picture.
- Other great sources for color schemes are artwork, nature photographs, gardens and flowers, a walk in the woods–you get the idea! This card was inspired by the leaves falling from the Bradford Pear tree next door.
- Use card sketches or layouts you’ve seen in cards others have made. Or layouts you’ve used yourself and like how the card turned out.
- Maybe you’ve bought some beautiful Designer Series Paper but haven’t figured out what to do with it. The great thing about DSP is that it has defined your color palette already, and you can build a card around it. Use it as a background for a stamp that fits the motif. Or make it the focal point if it has a bold design. Add a ribbon and a tag, and voila! You’ve got a card. Here's an example from last year's Deck the Halls DSP.
I’m sure you have your own favorite sources of inspiration. Why don’t you leave a comment and tell us what’s on your list? Sharing ideas like this is a great catalyst for creativity!
Now go play with your stamps, paper, and ink!
Nurturing Creativity, One Stamp at a Time!
aka The Mad Stamper
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