Honesty & Inspiration

Creativity doesn’t grow on trees.  (I’m sorry if I’ve burst your bubble!)  I’m sure you’ve heard about artists block: those times of frustration and self doubt that every creative person feels.  Maybe you have experienced it yourself?  It’s horribly frustrating, untimely, uncaring, and dreary.   And creative dry-spells  seem to come when time is of the essence and productivity is especially important.

I’m kind of feeling the effect of one of these frustrating times right now.  But the good news is that even when inspired ideas don’t instantly come to mind without a bit of trial they can be trained.  Artists block is totally treatable!!  Rest, refreshment, time away, and new perspective are the very best medication.  It takes a lot of grace to be an artist – far more than we like to give.  You have to allow yourself to mess up and to fall short of your expectations often.  That’s actually a GOOD thing!  It means that you expect beautiful and meaningful things of yourself.  You should expect yourself to create amazingness.  But, allow yourself to grow into the artist you know you can be.

One of my favorite ways to refresh is by creating these visual mood boards.  They help me gather all the bits of inspiration floating around my head and edit out the ideas that aren’t cohesive and add concepts that unite and elevate the whole aesthetic.  It’s a fun and refreshing process and one I totally recommend!

Painting Inspiration: black and white with teal and green

To visit these images – and to see a collection of others – follow my Painting Inspiration pinterest board!  I am brainstorming new ideas and intend to fill this board with beauty.  Join me!


  • I love mood boards! I find that when I’m in a creative slump I can sometimes get inspiration just from rummaging through my materials. Sometimes a colour, a texture, an embellishment, a pattern will spark an idea and lift me out of that awful artist’s block.


  • Man, those mood boards look amazing!? I adore them! 🙂 I read somewhere, to get your creativity flowing again, it’s nice (especially for illustrators) to close your eyes, draw one long line on a paper, open your eyes and find a face or a subject or ANYTHING in the mess of the lines your unconsciousness created. I tried it and it worked alright for me. x


  • Beautiful post, Emily! I’m actually having the opposite issue lately– too much inspiration! There are so many ideas and avenues I want to explore artistically and not nearly enough time to do so AND keep up with other responsibilities. Prioritizing inspiration and what to creatively pursue at any given moment seems quite the challenge lately!


  • This is amazing and just the thing i need. I was looking for something to get out of this rut I have been too long. Sometimes it gets so uncomfortable to be in the “not creating” phase, and the frustrations just make it worse. Love the feeling of this, and I am going to try it! Thank you for this! 🙂


  • I love mood boards, they are a great way to get the inspirational juices flowing. I also have a little journal I carry around, so when I’m out and about and inspiration strikes I can write it down before I forget it. I may not use it right away, but I eventually I get to around to developing the idea further.


  • I love the idea of the mood boards and the ones you have created are beautiful and very inspiring. I might try that as this year my creativity has not been flowing freely. Thanks for sharing this idea.


  • “It takes a lot of grace to be an artist – far more than we like to give. You have to allow yourself to mess up and to fall short of your expectations often. That’s actually a GOOD thing! It means that you expect beautiful and meaningful things of yourself.” – This means a lot to me. In art school, it was so much easier being surrounded by other creative individuals who were all failing and succeeding at similar rates, like we were a family team in it together. Now in real life, when I get blocked it feels much more lonesome. But following other creatives (like you!) in their journeys helps me a lot. Makes me feel like the world is a bit smaller. ❤


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