May 21, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Michelle Ward

This week, Michelle Ward from When I Grow Up is kind enough to answer my questions on inspiration. As a certified life coach for creative types, she has plenty of insight and motivation to give. She came into the coaching biz by way of acting and random jobs, and she understands completely the struggle of the road less traveled.

Michelle’s has an energy and enthusiasm that permeates throughout her blog and business. Her answers here deliver the same passion. From a new-to-me bookmarking site to an amazing list of websites that always inspire, her answers give us the resources kick start any creative process we’ve been lingering over.

When you finish reading about what inspires Michelle, jump on over to her blog for a daily lesson on what you ought to be when you grow up.

Thanks so much, Michelle, for taking the time to talk about your inspiration!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?
Motivation! Action! Dreams! A great big blue sky full of fluffy clouds. A big dark sky full of stars. Being on a ship with nothing but ocean surrounding you. A blank page. A white canvas. An unmarked script. Sheet music waiting to be sung. Lightness. Filled up-ness. Fireworks. Something that makes me cry and laugh and think. Something that moves me into action. Something hopeful. Something positive.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Definitely my posts for Motivation Monday! With all of my blog entries, I think first of what I want to see at that moment and then think as to whether it would resonate with my readers. Come to think of it, all of my blog posts start this way! I look in my Inspiration folder (more on that in my answer to question 3) or on past drafts that I started writing, and when I see something that relates to what I'm going through - what I can passionately write about, with feeling - then that's the road I travel down.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
I have a virtual notebook in Evernote where I copy all the amazing work I find on the different blogs I visit throughout the week). I'm then able to tag it when key words, like "goals" or "focus" or "journey", and I can search for whatever I'm writing about or feeling at the time. Because it's copied from the site I found it, I can easily credit the originator of the blog & the source I got it from.

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I don't, besides my Evernote account! I've never been one for vision boards, but the more I see them the more I want one for myself! I'm actually working through the Right Brain Business Plan now, and the culmination of the plan is a vision board-like project, & I'm really looking forward to it. Who knows - maybe I'll get hooked! I do have a journal now that I'm both writing & drawing in (I am SO not an artist, though, so it ain't the prettiest of pictures) & that's allowed the creative juices to flow. Oh! I also have a quote book! OK, so maybe I do have something other than my Evernote account :)

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
It's so hard to limit this to just 5! I've been sucked into so many amazing blogs from designers & artists, that I live vicariously through all of them (see note above about being a stinky artist). But if I gotta, here are my Top 5 Inspiration Sources:
  • Keri Smith is an awesomely amazing artist who gets you thinking of your world and your creative pursuits in a whole new life. I combed through her whole site at one point and read her blog from top to bottom, but if I have to point you to one place it's her Fun Page. And yes, it's accurately named.
  • Kelly Rae Roberts...her work...her posts....there is something so real & accessible & inspiring about both her art and her writing. I'm a huge fan all around, and while I highly suggest checking out, uh, everything she does, you NEED to read her book. Yes, need. Not "want". Not "should". NEED. And make sure you're someplace quiet and have your journal someplace you can get to it quickly. I had to run sopping wet from the bath to get mine.
  • Pecannoot is the sweetest site! I have no freakin' idea what the name means, but it features lots of different photos and paintings and such centered around the theme of "abundance." Jess Gonacha is the site's founder and host, and while she's an amazing artist herself, her insights combines with the work that's being featured is worth the click over every day.
  • Kind Over Matter & Design is Mine is where I just go to look at pictures and dream. Sigh. Seriously though, the images are awesome & the sentiments behind it always jolt me. In a good way. Kind Over Matter focuses on the photos people take after they leave behind a sweet message for people to find, while Design is Mine gives you the motivational art (but not in a sappy way) AND the great indy design/decor/fashion finds. It's dangerous.
  • Me! OK, this sounds silly, but sometimes my biggest inspiration is within me - my celebrations, my challenges, my newly learned life lessons. As a newlywed, and a certified life coach, and someone who is trying to grow her business while working a full time job, and someone who is passionate about helping creative people find their own path to a fulfilling career while not losing sight of their creative passions..... I have so much to say!


Michelle | When I Grow Up Coach said...

Thanks so much for interviewing me for this wonderful series! I had a blast & can't wait to see who else graces your wonderful blog. Keep up the great work, Karen!

Carolyn said...

Such an incredible interview!! Thank you for sharing what inspires Michelle. It's wonderful to see what inspires her since her inspiration truly leaps off her blog. You can't talk to Michelle without feeling inspired and passionate about going after what you want (and getting it!).

Eric Matas said...

I love the Motivation Monday posts. Great blogs.