Inspiration: Guest Post by Jess Gonacha Swift

September 11th, 2009

jess gonacha inspiration

Hello Creative Everyday peeps! A big thanks to Leah for inviting me to be a guest blogger here- what an honor. Goodness.

She asked me to write about inspiration, which is very timely for me lately, because I've been feeling unfocused and not all that inspired, so it's time to get my creativity moving and think of some ways to get back in action!

Here are some of my surefire ways to move toward inspiration:

1. Look through books and magazines (favorites: Olle Eksell, books of flower shapes, Anthropologie catalogs, pattern books…)
2. Pick an unusual color palette to work in.
3. Paint a white surface a color. It's always less daunting and gets the juices flowing.
4. Doodling.
5. Go on a walk through my neighborhood or out in nature. I get my best ideas while out walking.
6. Thinking about making art as a way of documenting my thoughts/feelings. When I can make it more personal, then I'm more easily inspired.
7. Cleaning out and rearranging my studio. This seems like maybe it could fall into the procrastination category as well, but it actually helps me clear out my head and feel like I can start fresh.

What do you do to get inspired? And once you're there, how do you stay inspired? I'd love to hear about it - and possibly learn some new tricks! Feel free to email me () or leave comments with your ideas and tips.

Thanks again to Leah for inviting me to be a part of her ultra creative and inspiring blog!

Tree image from Janesdead's Flickr photostream
Anthropologie images from their

Jess Gonacha Swift can eat grapes until she gets sick. In fact, she might like eating grapes more than she likes making art, but since it's a bit impractical to buy grapes every day, she settles for drawing and painting all day instead. She lives with her cat, Anika, who chirps when she runs, and her husband, Ryan, who listens to an iPod when he runs. (Jess likes to step on fallen acorns when SHE runs.) She likes to dream about living on a houseboat in Amsterdam one day, but for now you can find her in Atlanta, Georgia, where she spends her days doing freelance illustration and surface pattern design, running her etsy shop, blogging in two places (Treasuring and Pecannoot) and painting up a pink cloudy storm!

4 Responses

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Christopherson. Jim Christopherson said: Inspiration: Guest Post by Jessica Gonacha Swift | Creative Every Day [...]

Thank you for sharing this window into your creative process! Your sample board is great!!!!And it made me think of how Julia Cameron described images as being the input needed to feed the well of creativity. I think we need to use all our senses whenever possible to feed our creativity, and of course walking is the time-honored moving meditation for creative people. Now I am wondering, because it’s not on the list, if you also find music helpful? Some of us do, some of us do not. (I seem to be in the notsomuch group but maybe that is because of not trying it enough.)Am looking forward to following the comments to come. :)

Thanks Jess.

I love doodling. I love to push the boundary to see how well I can draw from my imagination and I love to see what evolves. Sometimes it’s a surprise, and who doesn’t love that?

Walking helps to inspire me as well. It also helps me to work through problems I’ve been worrying about. Recently I’ve found that working on mind maps has helped me find inspiration. If I’m stuck, I’ll just start writing lists of what ever pops into my head and they’ll eventually lead me to an idea that I can explore.

Post a Comment