Collection #1

"To me, photography is an art of observation.
It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...
I've found it has little to do with the things you see
and everything to do with the way you see them."
~ Elliott Erwitt

Let curiousity rule your photography. Create a collection of ideas and inspiration for your creative endeavors by carrying your camera with you. Let it capture ideas for designs, layouts, fonts, colors, color combinations, textures, concepts for doodles, sketches and embroidery projects.

Intriguing polka dots, clean lines and crisp mustard yellow on this metal door in Amsterdam.

Sparkly foliage above a brewery in Munich, Germany. I want to create doodles and freestyle embroidery with these retro starburst shapes. {... anyone know the name of this tree?}

The quirky lines of this seahorse, on exhibit at an aquarium in Seattle.

I might be the only person who photographed this deteriorating wall of peeling paint at St. Bavo Church (The Great Church) in Haarlem in The Netherlands. But I love the rich texture and subtle yellow tones.

My daughters and I fell for these cute little birdies at the flower market in Amsterdam. I see a layout of similar shaped objects in an irregular grid, a palette of reds, pale yellows, blues and whites, bird sketches and repetition.

Orange and red bell pepper, limes, snow peas and green onions for a stir fry sparked a color palette.

Jewelry with mini patterns can act as a muse for a doodle in a Moleskine.

I took this photograph of a window wall of paper hand-made by children visiting the Pittsburgh Children's Museum last summer, and it's been such an inspiration to me. I love the pure, saturated colors, the sunlight, the gridded layout, so much wonderfulness. This reminds me of the color palettes painters prepare to know their colors. It could inspire earings, a mobile, a layout of mini-photos or inchies, a linear embroidery project.

Not only is this NewTree bar my favorite dark chocolate, but I totally love the font and design of the packaging. I use product packaging as inspiration for font and line practice.

Shadows are everywhere, yet we rarely use them in art. I love the way the shadows fell on our wall beside these dried roses. They remind me to echo shapes and colors in my pages.

 I took this photo in a petite linen and lace shop in Ghent, Belgium. The shop had a lovely mix of white linens with hand embroidery. The soft texture and polka dots on these napkins inspire borders for collage, doodles or embroidery.

So much time, so few ideas. Strike that, reverse it. Take a few moments during your day, while shopping, at lunch, at the library, anywhere, and take some photos. Open your mind to lines, forms, shapes, colors, patterns.

What to do with your idea photographs?

  • Categorize the ideas you've photographed using tags in photo editing software
  • Keep the photographs in a separate "creative ideas" folder on your computer
  • Print them and display on your inspiration board

More ideas:

Pop over to the next post in the series... Collection #2.