June 11, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Laura Gaskill

Today is a great day because we’re talking about inspiration again. This week, Laura Gaskill of Lolalina fills us in on what inspiration means to her and how she finds it. She compares it to a spark, which is a great description, because really all you need is one small flicker to kick you into gear. I also love her perspective on creative ruts, her carefully edited lists of inspiration sources and her charming workspace.

Much of the inspiration Laura talks about here helps to fuel her blog. Reading Lolalina is like talking to a great friend because Laura writes as if she has known you forever. This makes her blog a joy to read and a welcome respite from everyday work.

You’ll find tips to live your best life; reviews of enticing travel destinations and beautifully decorated spaces; and photographs of lovely little vignettes Laura styles herself. You'll probably even come across a few links to new places you have to add to your own sources of inspiration.

I hope you find something here that inspires and then visit Lolalina to start living your sweet life.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing with us today!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?
To me, inspiration is awareness. When you are inspired, you feel filled-up and alive, and you notice the beauty and vibrancy around you. I think that inspiration can be found everywhere - but when you're feeling down, you can't see it. It's like a spark - something out there in your world that catches you by surprise and helps you make a new connection. An "aha!" moment.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Yes! Writing/blogging always requires inspiration. I think no matter what you're writing about, you need that spark of inspiration to get you started - otherwise, what's the point? The inspiration can come from any source - something happening in my life, a memory, something I've read about, or a conversation with a friend.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
First of all, thank you for asking this question! I think it's so important to realize that you are capable of breaking out of a rut. I hate the whole idea of "writer's block" because it doesn't help anybody - it's important just to recognize that you are in a rut, and then do something about it! As far as I can tell, there are two kinds of ruts: those caused by a lack of inspiration, and those caused by inspiration-overload. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the amount of information out there that I start zoning out, and then it's hard to come up with new ideas. When that happens, I know it's time to step away from the computer. I'll take a walk, do yoga, curl up with a mug of hot tea, or clean or declutter something.

Other times, I get into a rut where I just feel flat and dull - and that's when I need to seek out a jolt of inspiration. The first place I go is the bookstore. I love bookstores. I could practically live in a bookstore. I like to browse the whole store, picking up whatever looks interesting - whether it's a novel, a book of poems, a design book, science, history, etc. And I always bring a little notebook in my bag in case I need to jot down an idea while I'm browsing.

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I have kept inspiration boards from time to time over the years, and I love them. There's something really relaxing about fiddling with the pictures on an inspiration board. Usually I tape up a sheet of pretty wrapping paper on the wall above my desk, and gradually add little bits and pieces as I find them - but I've never had a big bulletin board, and I really want one! I also keep journals and notebooks for writing down ideas & thoughts to come back to.

Laura's workspace with inspiration above

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
Oh, man! This is really hard to narrow down, but I'll try.
Laura's Domino collection
  • Blogs I have way too many favorites to list, but a few that I go back to again and again for inspiration are decor8, Creature Comforts, Melissa Loves, and Soule Mama. Whenever I visit these ladies, I know I'll come away feeling refreshed and inspired.
  • Art Museums I love the RISD Museum in Providence (where I live now) and the de Young Museum in San Francisco (where I used to live) - there's just something about spending the morning in a museum that never fails to make me feel better.
  • Films I am a huge fan of old movies, especially Hitchcock & Audrey Hepburn films. Such style! I also love quirky movies like Amelie & The Science of Sleep. And if all else fails, The Sound of Music!
  • Travel I have the travel bug, big time. It's addictive. I love the excitement of being immersed in a different culture, falling into the rhythm of a place, exploring, and having adventures. Even though travel can be stressful at times, it's totally worth it to me. Just try sitting in an Italian cafe, sipping an espresso and not be inspired!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Thank you so much, Karen!!! I love how this turned out, and I had such a good time answering your questions - it really helped me think about inspiration in a new way :)