When I first started Gingiber, it was just me in the corner of my living room with a little desk, my laptop, & a sewing machine. I would come home from my day job, wait to put my daughter to bed, and then stay up into the late hours of the night creating.
It seemed like no big deal, the sacrifice of sleep in order to create prints and pillows to sell in my Etsy shop! But then the business began to grow. I found myself working on things like spreadsheets and filing for business licenses, prepping for craft shows and packaging orders.
Where did all of my fun creative time and energy go?
If you’ve experienced the same, here are 3 strategies to get it back!
1. Schedule Creative Time
As my business grew, I had to decide to give myself permission to take one day a week & do nothing but create! Currently it is Tuesdays. I have a babysitter come to my home and watch my daughter for a few hours while I go to my home office and work on new ideas, freelance, etc. But it wasn’t until I made Tuesdays an essential need for the business that I felt my creative energy soar!
Do you have a few hours that you can consistently schedule every week for brainstorming & sketching – or whatever your creative equivalent is?
Make it a priority.
2. Avoid the Sophomore Slump: Don’t Over Think It
Years ago, I had literally 1 successful illustration that was selling quite a bit. It was my Owlphabet print. I tried to create more similar work, but couldn’t produce anything that I felt was equally as good. I knew that I was supposed to create work that I loved, but nothing else that I drew seemed like it would ever be as popular as the Owlphabet!
That is when I decided to start sketching every single day. Even if it was just a no meaning doodle in the corner of a notebook. I started saving every sketch. Then one day I went through them and pulled out some of my favorites. Out of my daily sketches came the idea to create a calendar, and soon that led to my next successful product line, an Owl Calendar (I guess owls were all the rage back then)! I finally got my groove back because I stopped over thinking it and just created!
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
3. Take a Break From Work!
This is where I need to take my own advice. I literally never stop working. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I was sewing pillows while having contractions that were 3 minutes apart because I desperately wanted my orders to go out on time! Yikes! Talk about work obsessed!
What I am learning from my workaholic tendencies is that I can put myself completely on the back burner. When was the last time I did something nice for myself? As the “Creative Director” of Gingiber, if I don’t take care of my personal wellness, eventually it will lead to burnout. I don’t want that!
I am making it a priority next quarter to take some time away from the business every week to be alone, sip some coffee, and give myself permission to turn off the Gingiber portion of my brain.