Where Do Creatives Find Ideas?

Where do creatives find ideas? I often hear that creative ideas come from moments of divine inspiration. Sometimes yes, an idea can pop into the mind, but more importantly, visual creatives are visual collectors.

We are constantly recording and analysing our surroundings and looking at them with the creative eye. Learning how to notice everything is the key to making creative content, because then creative ideas can come from anywhere, and they are constantly being generated.

Anything can be a source of inspiration. A haze of light, a strip of peeling paint, a flash of expression. Observing and appreciating the intricacies, textures, colours, and symmetries of everyday things keeps the mind engaged and receptive to ideas.

There are moments where creative blocks get in the way. This is when you look back through the things you have collected in the past. Journals, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, Pinterest boards, books and magazines are all fantastic sources. Be selective, but gather from a wide range. This will help you to make quality work but won’t limit your ideas to a particular style or medium.

Would you like to always be developing your creativity? Take a look at my post for some ideas.


Please like and share
Continue Reading

How To: Introduction to Jewellery Making & Creating a Wire Wrapped Ring

You can head over to Youtube to watch my tutorial on how you can get started in jewellery making. In the tutorial I show how to make a simple wire wrapped ring. Once you get the hang of it you can easily create a ring in under ten minutes using really cheap materials – although there is a lot of space for customisation if you would like to jazz it up.

I make a lot of jewellery – taking the time to work on craft and make something with my hands is really important to me. Collecting stones from forests and oceans, learning about their formation and meanings, learning new ways of crafting with metal and turning it all into something that someone is going to wear is fascinating to me.

In my tutorial I explain the steps you need to take to make your own ring, as well as the materials you need and where you can find them. There was too much information to fit into the video, so I have compiled all the information about the making process and materials in this post.

Please watch the video below before reading the rest of this post so you can follow along.


The first thing you need is a bead. This can be a plastic or glass bead, which is on the cheaper end of the spectrum and will be available in any craft store. Alternatively, you can choose a semi-precious stone bead like quartz, or a more expensive precious stone like emerald or ruby. In this tutorial I chose to use an imperial turquoise bead. This is a stone that I really love. It has some really bold turquoise tones that intermingle with the more natural beige patterns. If you choose to use a gemstone, remember to sift through your beads and pick one with colours and patterns that you like, as no two natural beads are the same and all will be slightly different.

I recommend looking on Etsy Studio (Etsy’s source for craft supplies) and searching for gemstone beads, there’s a lot of really great shops where you will be able to find some beautiful pieces.

In this tutorial I use a 6mm bead, which is pretty small and creates a delicate look. I also like to use 8mm beads, and you could use 10mm beads for chunkier, statement pieces.

I mention in the video that you can collect raw stones yourself. Stones like quartz are abundant in forests and beaches, and with a little searching you can find them yourself. All you do is pop them in a rock tumbler with water and grit, and let it tumble for several weeks. The tumbler wears down and smooths the rocks. The same thing happens to rocks in rivers and the ocean, but the tumbler dramatically speeds up the process by several thousand years.


The next thing that you will need is wire. I really recommend 925 Sterling silver wire, because it’s really high quality, durable and doesn’t tarnish easily. However, it can be expensive, so if you are just starting out then buy a cheaper wire to practice on. If you’re just making for fun, then silver plated wire, copper wire or even aluminium wire and much cheaper alternatives that will also work really well.

You can also use Etsy Studio to search for wire. The wire I used in the tutorial is 0.05mm, which is quite thin. You can use slightly thinner wire, 0.04mm wire would be usable, but any smaller and the ring will become very fiddly to make and may not hold together well. I also wouldn’t recommend getting wire that is too thick. After about 1mm, it becomes quite difficult to bend.


The last thing you need before you can start making are some tools. A small pair of wire cutters are a must have, they really will make working with wire so much easier. You will also need a ring mandrel, which you will use to bend the ring into shape and make it the right size. The last thing you need is a ring sizer, which you use to determine the ring size of yourself or the person you are making the ring for.

Amazon is a great place to look for craft tools, it’s where I buy mine, and they’re also good value. I picked up my mandrel and ring sizer for under £10.

Ready to begin!

That’s it! One you have your supplies you can use them to follow along with the rest of the tutorial. Happy crafting!

If you do decided to give this tutorial a go, let me see the results! Post a photo of your handmade jewellery on Instagram and tag me at @theartofhannahroseshaw, and I’ll be sure to take a look.

If you would like to see more of my jewellery please visit my Etsy shop.


Please note that the recommendations in this article are personal recommendations and are in no way sponsored or endorsed.

Please like and share
Continue Reading

Make Your Own Handbound Notebook

I recently added these hand-bound notebooks to my Etsy store. I had a lot of fun making them and wanted to share a few tips on how to get started with book-binding. The idea can seem quite daunting, but once you get the hang of it there are so many options for customisation.

What you need:

  1. 10x sheets of paper. It is best to use a high quality writing paper, but you can also use regular printing paper. 10 folded sheets will make a 20 page notebook (40 sides) when the binding process is complete.
  2. 1x sheet of thick printing paper. Make sure that it is 150gsm or more.
  3. A small awl.
  4. A needle.
  5. Thread. There are many different kinds of thread that you can use for book binding. The best is linen thread, but cotton will work as well. The important thing is to choose a natural fibre that will last a long time and be strong enough to hold the notebook together.

Step 1

Print your chosen design onto your printing paper. This will be the cover of your notebook.

Step 2

Fold your notebook cover in half. Repeat with the 10x sheets of writing paper, and place the writing paper inside the cover, as you want the pages to lay.

Step 3

Find the centre of your notebook. You should start binding from the inside. You may want to use paperclips to hold the pages in place while you begin threading. Use the awl to make three holes – one in the centre, one an inch from the top, and the last an inch from the bottom. If you want the binding to be perfect then you should measure the holes to make sure they are at equal distances, but this is not completely necessary. Begin by threading the needle through the centre hole.

Step 4

Flip the notebook over and pull the thread through. The cover should now be facing up. Thread the needle back through the top hole, and flip the notebook over so the writing paper is facing up. Thread back through the centre hole.

Step 5

Repeat step 4 by threading through the third hole at the bottom of the notebook, so that the cover is facing up, then push the needle back through the centre hole. You may repeat steps 4 and 5 twice if you would like the binding to be particularly strong.

Step 5

Finish by laying the notebook and the writing paper facing up, and tie the loose ends together. Trim the loose thread and you’re done!

There’s so much opportunity to play with this process, designing your own covers and working with a variety of paper sizes, creating mini notebooks as well as larger books with different types of paper. Notebooks, sketchbooks and journals can all be created in the exact same way.

If you decide to try it out, I’d love to see the results!


Please like and share
Continue Reading

How to Find Confidence as an Artist

Creativity needs confidence.

Without confidence we limit ourselves, we stop trying new things, and we no longer take chances. By confidence, I don’t mean being the loudest person in the room. I mean that you need to have self belief, because that’s what confidence really is. Knowing who you are, what your values are, and why you do what you do will help you develop true confidence to create powerful, authentic work.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about developing a strong sense of self believe.

Write down your values

Writing down your values is a way of finding out what you stand for and what your work is about. Consider the values you uphold, your goals, and your vision of how to want to present yourself. Once you have discovered the answers you will feel more purposeful and empowered.

Focus on the process

Sometimes we are too focused on the goal or the finished piece. We build up an image of it in our minds and are disappointed when it doesn’t match up with reality. We spend too much time focusing on these failures and imperfections. It is important to remember that there is no ‘destination,’ and that the process is far more important than a perfect finished piece. In my last blog post I wrote about how much I learnt from simply making a painting without worrying about how it would look when it was done, discovering how much I liked the sketchy, free flowing pencil lines that I would normally erase. Remember to enjoy the process, to learn something each time, and to try and make each piece of work a little better than the last. Know that you are constantly improving, and even if you are not yet as skilled as you would like to be, know that one day you will be.

Find support

Sometimes we put a lot of emotions into our work and can become upset or overwhelmed when things don’t go as planned, or in those moment where we are no longer sure if we’re good enough. Analyse the situation, and you’re finding it hard, a support network can come in handy. Ask them for their critiques, their advice and their experiences. Discuss what led you to lose self-belief and act on what you learn. Friends, family, other creatives, local or even online groups are all great ways of finding support.

Challenge yourself

Belief in yourself grows when you prove to yourself that you can do it. Get out of your comfort zone, whether it’s finally sharing that piece online, doing a live Q&A, or starting a project that you’ve been putting off for absolutely ever. These spaces may be scary but they are where you grow.

Always be learning

Learn as much as you can about what you do – and everything else. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes about 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of a field. The more you know, the more confident you will be in your own ability. Not only this, but learning improves our understanding of the world around us, and gives us the inspiration for new ideas.

There you have it. As always, feel free to ask questions or leave a comment, and let me know if you tried out any of the ideas above.


Photo credit: Oliver J Cooper.

Model: Hannah Rose Shaw. 

Please like and share
Continue Reading

My Top Seven Daily Drawing Tips

If you think you’re bad at drawing, or that you’re uncreative, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Drawing is a skill that can be improved, and if you practice once a day for one month, I promise that you will see a difference. I’ve put together a few ideas that help me in my drawing practice. Why not challenge yourself to 30 days of drawing?


Begin with a cheap sketchbook where you can scribble ideas. This way you don’t need to worry about messing up expensive paper, just sketch whatever ideas pop into your mind without thinking too hard about the outcome.


Make yourself a desk or workspace where you can draw. Make sure it’s somewhere you won’t be disturbed. For more tips on creating a workspace with little space, check out my last blog post.


Create an inspiration board where you can keep colour palettes, beautiful photographs, pages from magazines, book quotes and anything else that gets your creativity buzzing. It can be a pin board, a scrapbook, or a digital board like Pinterest.


Choose the amount of time that you want to spend practicing everyday. The more the better, but starting at 10 minutes a day is just fine.


It’s OK to release your inner child and have fun. It isn’t about being perfect or comparing yourself to others, it’s about the process.


Hold yourself accountable for your improvement. Once you have finished drawing for the day, tick it off on a diary or calendar. Take an extra step by sharing your daily drawings on Instagram or Facebook.


Try drawing with someone and sharing your work. It will make the process more fun and sociable, and if you have an artistic friend, why not ask them for some tips?



Please like and share
Continue Reading

How to Make an Art Studio With Little Space

“This is the place of creative incubation. At first, you may find nothing happens there. But, if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen.” – Joseph Campbell.

If there is one thing an artist needs, it’s space. Space to keep materials, to lay out paints and papers, and to find inspiration. Lack of space is one of the biggest problems that get in the way of people making art. If you want to make art and creativity a part of your daily life, then you need to make space for it. Here are some of my favourite ways to carve out an art space at home.

List your wants and needs

From materials to tables and chairs, list everything that you would like in your studio space. Look over your list, starting with the essentials, and decide what you really need to work. You can always add more later.

Repurpose old furniture

Whether it’s a desk or a chest of drawers, use it. Start by finding something that you can use as a table. For now, keep it clear – you’re going to need it later! To save extra space you can use a folding table that can be stored neatly away when you’re done.

Divide a room

Divide part of a room into a studio space. If the room is part of a family or living room, use shelves or a screen to delineate it. If you don’t have a room large enough for this, try taking over an attic, basement or garage.

Make space for storage

That old chest of drawers that you found earlier? That’s going to come in handy. Divide it up into sections – one for paper, one for paints, one for brushes, and so on. If you don’t have a drawer you can use, try buying a small plastic storage box or rolling cart.

Use portable art kits

Many art supplies are small and portable, so you can work from anywhere. Carry an art pouch filled with all the essentials and work in the work or your local coffee shop.

Keep your space alive

You’re going to feel much more likely to work in a beautiful space filled with inspiration than in somewhere dull and drab. While you’re repurposing your furniture or putting up that screen, why not re-decorate them yourself by adding a pop of colour or some collage. Decorate the walls with art prints, postcards, pages from magazines. Make it personal, a unique space to fuel your sense of creativity. I make sure that my space is always filled with big, leafy plants, beautiful ceramics, colourful art prints, and music.

If you need inspiration, take a look at these beautiful studios for ideas.



Please like and share
Continue Reading

Six Ways To Support Your Fellow Creatives

Developing friendships with your fellow creatives is one of the most important things you can do.

Not only will you meet brilliant, likeminded people, but you will receive the support to enhance your work while developing a sense of community in the creative world.

Encouraging appreciation of artistic, handmade and creative work starts at home. Creatives should support other creatives. You can’t expect the public to engage with your work if you are unwilling to lead the way. So what are the best ways to offer support?

Reach out!

Reach out to people, even if it’s just on social media. A simple interaction can mean the world to someone – after all, if no one engages with their work, why bother making it at all? It can be as simple as giving them a Like on Facebook or a comment on Instagram. Tell them what you like about their work and offer your feedback. Congratulate them on their accomplishments. They might even reciprocate!

Don’t worry about competition

In so many creative industries there is a strong sense of competition. Everyone is contending to have the best work, to get the best contract. That’s just the way it is, and competition can be good, but it can also hold you back. Establishing friendships, listening to feedback , getting referrals and developing business partnerships can be just – if not more – important than being the best.

The flip side is to remember that someone having more experience, more skills or more sales than you is not a reason to feel bad about yourself. There is no doubt that they got to that point through a ton of work, research and experience. Talk to them, ask for advice, find out how they got to where they are. Don’t just give support but be open to receiving it, too.

Buy and trade from one another

There are so many incredible products made by fellow creatives. Just check out Etsy or Folksy to see how many beautiful, artisanal products are available. Buying mindfully from each other or trading work is a great way to offer support. If you want something new, why not pay a creative instead of a big corporation? You’ll be helping someone just like you to make a living from their passion, and you’ll get something made just for you that is truly one of a kind.

Partner up

Are you a photographer looking for experience? Do you know someone who makes beautiful ceramics? Partner up! Help them with their product photography and gain images for your portfolio. You’ve helped each other out without spending a dime, and you can always use social media to link to each other and help you both to gain exposure.

Share resources

There are no rules to say success is accomplished alone and more often than not, it isn’t. Why not try sharing your tools, studio space, or even your skills. Find someone who you can swap with. You’ll gain new skills and equipment while meeting new people and helping them out, too.

Find out what’s going on in your community

You might not know it, but a lot of communities have a huge variety of groups, fairs, markets, events, shows and exhibitions. A little online search can quickly tell you what’s going on in your local area. Simply showing up is a great way to be a supportive member of your local creative community, and you might even end up gaining some professional contacts.

If you can’t find anything going on, try organising an event – it take some effort but it’s worth it! Promote and sell each others’ work. It’s a great way to gain exposure and attract new customers, and you’ll find that the connections that you can make with other creatives are invaluable.


Please like and share
Continue Reading

How to Always be Developing Creativity

I’ve been getting a lot of questions via my Facebook page asking about being a self taught artist, using different materials, and where to find ideas.

To answer some of these questions I’m making a series posts about my work and some of the techniques I use. Todays post is about creativity, and how to always be developing it.

Creativity is the foundation or any type of creative work, but what is it? I have had friends tell me that I am lucky to be a creative ‘type,’ as if creativity is something that certain people are born with and others aren’t. Sure, maybe some people are more naturally creative than others, but often, creativity comes from hours, weeks, even years of practice.

Sometimes I feel creative and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’d much rather scroll through social media. But I do think there are things you can do to develop your creativity and get your creative buzz going even when you just don’t feel like it.


You have to go out and see things. I don’t mean that you have to go see most beautiful scenery in the world. I mean that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, really look at things. Even the everyday things. Notice them, look at them in a different way, let them take hold of your imagination. If you’re on a bus look out the window, if you’re in the supermarket notice the people around you. Sometimes you see little architectural details and colour schemes, other times you hear a conversation and a scene unfolding. Anything can spark an idea.

To get you started, I really recommend Keri Smith’s books, they’re really fun with simple creative exercise to help you start creating and see the world in a different way. I particularly enjoyed How to be an Explorer of the World and The Wander Society.


Once you begin to notice some interesting things, start to collect. Again, you don’t have to go to exotic scenes for inspiration, just go out on your street and see what you can find. Pick up, keep it, put it in a box or a scrapbook. If you find something that doesn’t give you the spark of an idea, can you use it as a material? Can you collage it, paint it, write on it?

If you don’t want to make a physical scrapbook, use the Internet. Store pictures that you like on Pinterest or Tumblr, refer back to it when you want some inspiration, and soon you will have a personal archive of things that are interesting and mean something to you, and when you need inspiration you will have an amazing resource.


Other creatives are often the very best source of inspiration and advice. Creative friendships where you can bounce ideas off one another are one of the very best ways of improving your work. My friends have helped me develop my work so much and are literally invaluable.


Daily sketching or journaling has helped me to generate regular ideas. Recently, I’ve been filling up sketchbooks every one to two months. As they say, practice makes perfect, and according to the author Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Don’t worry if you’re work isn’t perfect right away!

Sometimes the simple act of doing something that is familiar can help you to create good work. Practice being creative, being disciplines in your work, not getting distracted, letting your creativity flow.


Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. It is only by experimentation and practice that you will learn the types of colours and materials that suit you and develop your own style. Get over the fear of being wrong. I often don’t realise my ideas because art materials are expensive. Why would I want to waste money on a piece of work that I’m not sure I’ll get right? But it is only through practice and experimentation that I will ever become really good at my skill. Sometimes, the most important thing is simply starting.

It’s a process of development. It won’t come together right away, but the important thing is that you are taking action. You are learning. Creativity does not magically appear under the right conditions. It comes through practice, it comes once we open our eyes and put pen to paper.

So, what are you waiting for?


Photo credit: Oliver J Cooper.

Model: Hannah Rose Shaw. 

Please like and share
Continue Reading