Let’s talk about creativity, baby! Creativity is something each of us have the potential to possess…but some people just don’t have a cap to what their mind can come up with. Cough, cough, Sarah. This girl can do it all and never stop! No really, the limit does not exist when it comes to her abilities when those creative juices are flowing. So, naturally, we asked her about how she gets inspired. Keep reading to hear about her history with inspiration & how she comes up with all her unique ideas for each project!
Hey, guys! Sarah here! I thought I’d let you in on some of my inspiration secrets. Contrary to popular belief I’m not just constantly overflowing with new ideas and creativity and inspiration!
Before Pinterest was invented (old lady alert!) I kept a sketchbook of inspiration. I’d tear out pages from magazines and catalogs and glue them in. I love looking back through them because some of the things I thought were absolutely perfect and beautiful don’t inspire me like they once did. The opposite is true too—some things that were “so me” then are still exactly what I love! I also have to laugh now because some of the ideas that were so new to me 20 years ago (white cabinets with subway tile backsplash) are so common now! Kudos to the designer who first submitted those trends to Traditional Home! I’ve seen my own aesthetic be refined by broadening my exposure to the world, to new sources of inspiration; and by design school, of course.
Unfortunately, I don’t use sketchbooks or even Pinterest as much these days. Instagram and Pinterest are very helpful in exposing me to new ideas and also helping me communicate ideas to clients, but poor Pinterest has a hard time figuring me out. I’m often searching “French country cabinet details” and “modern rustic great room” and “Italian street style” all within the same hour! Instead of using these sites for inspiration I prefer reading or visual storytelling—that allows me to envision the red velvet cape, or the mountain with three peaks, or the smoky, Greek underworld! Reading about a room with glittering stars on the ceiling opens my mind up to new possibilities and new techniques or materials instead of letting me just recreate something I saw online.
When my creative tank is running low I’ve learned that it’s much better for me to experience something new to refuel my creative reserves than to do an inspo-picture deep dive. When I went to Glacier National Park in Montana I came home with 4 fabric designs for a future collaboration. When I came home from Paris I had a renewed dedication to quality over quantity in my selections and specifications. When I switched my radio dial back to classical I was inspired to create an app/site that’s combining symphonies with movie footage so that Brahms is paired with John Wayne’s “The Cowboys”. *dibs on this idea* *insert trademark/copyright here* When I tried the soft tacos at Taco Casa, instead of my usual super burrito, I…well nothing specifically comes to mind here, but you get what I’m saying! I even tried Star Wars recently to see what kind of visuals and creativity I was missing out on. There’s this scene on a salt planet that’s all black/white/red. Stunning.
My most recent adventure was to Jackson, Wyoming. The general vibe, for those who haven’t been, is forest hiking + solo lake exploring + fly fishing at dawn meets champagne + fine dining + spa services in the evening with a touch of Main Street Wild West shootout + cowboy two-stepping’ bar. From that trip I was inspired to group mismatched landscapes together, commit to my love of evergreen candles, buy sentimental Christmas ornaments, consider more blue for exteriors, stay passionate about quality over quantity, and keep travel sketching. At one point during our trip we had set up at a secluded lake, I was swinging and sketching in my hammock, and a group of Amish men hiked out of the woods, stripped out of their suspenders, and went for a swim! I guess everyone loves an adventure—a total, unplanned delight!
This week I’m attending American Society of Interior Designers’ Days of Education at Dallas Market. These events help me stay current not just on materials and applications, but also on international building code, fire safety, and the health of your interiors! I’ve signed up for classes about acoustics, lighting techniques, trim profiles,… did I lose you? I get excited about these things! While it may sound boring or tedious to some I am excited to see something new, to hear about materials and processes I don’t even know exist, to eat lunch in a different place, and I’m even excited that my commute will look different! I’ll be keeping you posted on our instagram stories but let me know—what inspires you?