As a crafter, it’s sometimes difficult to develop unique ideas. While Pinterest is great, it has ultimately hampered creativity. After all, most crafters now spend the majority of their time recreating projects they see elsewhere. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s essentially created a culture that lacks innovation. How can you regain your originality and become a unique crafter? Let’s take a look at some good sources of inspiration.

1. Immerse Yourself in Other Art Forms

Too often we look at art with a segmented point of view. We see painting as painting, drawing as drawing, knitting as knitting, and so forth. Instead, we should have a much more expansive view of art. There’s crossover between different mediums and you should avoid limiting yourself to a particular art form.

As a crafter, don’t be afraid of immersing yourself in other art forms in an effort to find inspiration and spark new creativity. For example, you may find a visit to Park West Gallery, the largest art dealer in the world, to be unique and exhilarating – as their mission involves ‘igniting a passion for the arts.’ Or maybe you could benefit from visiting an event like The Armory Show, which happens each year in New York City.

What you see is less important than the fact that you’re exposing yourself to new art forms. This creative immersion will ultimately rub off on you and provide unique inspiration that can then be translated back to crafting.

2. Read New Blogs and Websites

Sometimes finding inspiration is as easy as browsing the internet. Many of the world’s greatest artists publish their portfolios online. Simply skimming through a handful of different works can spark new ideas and open up new possibilities.

When reading blogs, portfolios, and websites, keep a notebook by your side. You’ll want to record any and all creative thoughts you have. Don’t discount or ignore anything. You may be surprised to discover where you end up. While you can record words and ideas, many people find it more expressive to utilize a sketchbook. In this book, you can interpret the art you’re exposed to and make it your own.

3. Look Through Old Childhood Projects

If your parents are like most, they probably held on to most of your old childhood art projects. While they’re likely rudimentary in form, you may be shocked to discover how much creative inspiration you can draw from these basic projects. One idea is to recreate old crafts by putting a new sophisticated twist on them.

4. Gather Random Supplies and See What Happens

Sometimes the only thing that’s limiting your creativity is a lack of options. One really fun idea is to go to a local craft store and fill your shopping basket with as many different supplies as you can find. You can then return home and use this random assortment of supplies to create something new and uninhibited. In the future, simply having these leftover supplies on hand will allow you to be more spontaneous with new projects.

5. Surround Yourself With New People

In order to consistently create and innovate, you need to surround yourself with the right environment. This means networking and spending time with other artists and likeminded people.

“You become who you identify with,” writes blogger Mark Lipinski. “You are who you set your mind to be. If you want to be an artist, hang out with artists. If you want to be a writer, surround yourself with writers. If you want to be a fabric or textile designer, seek out other designers and hang with them.” In his opinion, you have to, “Surround yourself with whom you want to become!”

Don’t be Afraid to Try Something New

What are you waiting for? Stop mindlessly browsing the same old Pinterest boards and start putting yourself in situations and environments that are conducive to being inspired!