Almost everyone who is involved in creative work or who has a creative hobby knows how it feels when you are have come to a standstill. Every now and then you go through a phase, well, at least that’s how it is for me, where your creative energy is simply exhausted. When this is the case I feel unmotivated, and have neither ideas nor energy… feeling like this leaves me highly unsatisfied.
But, like Bob Dylan once said so nicely : “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” If inspiration doesn’t want to appear on its own and seems to have vanished, you shouldn’t just sit around and wait for it to come back. You can actually search for it and grab hold of it, wherever you find it!
There are numerous possibilities to clear your head and get the creative “flow” going again. The Internet is full of tips which help to generate ideas once more. Some people swear by physical activity or spontaneous nature walks. However, I’m not a sports person… I swear by visiting markets when I am feeling like I’m without ideas and my creativity is exhausted. Naturally, my camera is always accompanying me.
Strolling through a market is a deeply sensuous experience for me. The market pulsates with life. The colors, forms, and structures of the goods on offer are a feast for the eye. Simply capturing these impressions on camera is already a creative process which can re-start the flow of ideas. The scent of fruits, vegetables, and flowers stirs the senses. Why not buy a whole armful of different flowers and arrange them lovingly throughout your home? Or why not try fruits and vegetables you have never eaten before? Just go ahead and buy unknown ingredients for a meal whose recipe you still have to research or even invent! It’s good for your soul to try something new. Recently I actually wrote about this in my blog here… if our spirit is longing for rest – or inspiration – cooking can be a wonderful medicine.
A weekly market or farmer’s market aren’t the only places to find inspiration, however. I love flea markets because of their inherent magic and nostalgia. Everything sold here has a mysterious, unique history, and its value often lies only in the eye of the beholder. And still, flea markets always quicken the imagination. When we look at the objects, our thoughts enter a kind of time travel and often our own, long forgotten memories surface. And although the objects “look back” on the past, vintage designs have consistently inspired completely new, modern creations and interpretations.
Every market, no matter what is sold there, is also always a mirror of part of the culture of those people who run it and visit it. That’s what makes markets all over the world so unique. They allow an insight into the mentality of the people and the country. Wherever I am, whether at home or traveling… I am always drawn to markets. I don’t even have to buy anything to feel inspired. Strolling past the booths, gazing at and admiring the displays and watching the people and their bustling activity are already enough for me to feel like I’m newly re-energized when I’m ready to leave.
When is the last time you visited a market? When you do so the next time, and even if it is “only” the weekly market in your village, take your camera with you … and maintain your curiosity!
Nic has been a blogger since 2006. She loves traveling and good food. She is a freelance textile designer, compulsive DIY person, and passionate photographer.