As needle felters, we belong to a community of crafters and hobbyists who are in the habit of creating. We create beautiful creations, focusing on getting all the little details perfect.
Create: 1) to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. 2) to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention. (Source: Dictionary.com)
I guess that if you weren’t needle felting, you would be engaged in some other form of creating – you may already have multiple creative outlets. What I know for sure is, we creative-types are continually bringing our imagination to life.
Since we use our imaginations on overdrive, it isn’t very easy for us when we run out of ideas. I don’t know about you, but the need to create art is visceral for me – I HAVE to create! Yet, sometimes I need to be inspired whether it’s to push myself as an artist, or because I have a dry spell. So I would share with you some of my favorite ways to find inspiration.
I realize not everyone can look out of their kitchen window to see sheep grazing in the field, but my farm inspires me every single day in obvious and subtle ways. The rural setting, the different sheep who each have their own personalities, and how they watch me with fascination as I go about my chores, all move me to want to honor them in my needle felting.
Luckily for me, I get to honor my sheep not only in my needle felting but also in creating the most beautiful wool. It seems like a miracle each time the wool comes back from being processed, and I hold it in my hands. I’m inspired to do the best I can with this gorgeous, soft, vibrant gift.
If you live in an area where you can drive past farms, take the opportunity! We also have cattle, and those animals always move me to create a needle felting depiction of exactly how they looked grazing against the backdrop of the sunset. Take photos, look at how they stand, how they turn their heads, and how they move. Study their coloring and vow to find precisely the right shade of wool.
Zoos and Parks
I don’t have a zoo near me, but whenever I get the chance to see exotic animals in real life, I jump at the chance! I’m always surprised by which animals inspire me to run back to my studio and pick up my needles. One visit to a zoo had me watching and studying the badgers as I was fascinated by their look and movements.
National and state parks can also yield brushes with wildlife. Moose, deer, and bears regularly end up in my phone either as stills or videos so I can study how they move. You may find inspiration closer to home in a local park or even your backyard where the bunnies can’t help but look adorable!
Social Media and Books
Ah, the Internet is a rich source of infinite inspiration! Whenever curiosity strikes, your next project could be one browser search away! I’ve lost many hours to researching animals and their structures only to end up thinking of an entirely new idea. I suppose that’s why the expression is, “creativity strikes!”
I also enjoy scrolling through Instagram and follow nature photographers, national parks, and other people who make it their mission to be out with the animals.
Of course, there are thousands of photography books devoted to animals, and those are excellent sources when you are trying to choose your next project. I use children’s books when I want to create something more whimsical or want to work with vibrant hues. Your next great idea may be in your children’s favorite bedtime story!
If you’re ready to be inspired by a community of fantastic needle felters all working on their craft, The Bear Creek Academy is calling you! Join other needle felters who are all improving their skills while sharing their knowledge and projects with the group. It will transform your craft!