Visual Inspiration Overload & How I Deal

Dear readers, I have something slightly controversial I wanted to talk about in today’s blog post.  Visual Inspiration.  When too much is bad for one’s health.

I looove Pinterest, and didn’t know how I survived without it.  It’s my one place to post all of the visual imagery that inspires me to add vintage embellishment, gain insights on how to apply winged-eyeliner, among a whole host of other things.  But I primarily use it to store ideas I don’t want to forget & also to be inspired by new images.

For me, this comes at a cost.  As of writing this post I have accumulated 644 pins on 30 boards with another 448 likes.  That’s 1,092 images that I like, which doesn’t even account for all of the other pins you’ve posted that I have seen at some point.

Not only do I use pinterest, but I love all of my fellow blogger’s projects and blogs (you guys!).  I follow over 100 blogs and I currently have 214 unread blog posts. 

I don’t have much perspective if these figures are a lot, a little, or is average compared to everyone else.  But for me, all of this information has a price.

While I love poking around on pinterest and other places, when I get too much visual inspiration I get overwhelmed and shut down.  I become completely frozen by the overload of information; I can’t make decisions and end up doing nothing.

*These are the times I generally focus on knitting.*

As you can imagine, it’s a catch-22 type situation.  I love looking images on pinterest for inspiration but it easily gets to be “too much” for me. 

Does this happen to any of you?! 

The only thing that gets me out of these ruts, if you want to call them that, is to refocus myself after taking a break.  Oftentimes, I take a few days off of sewing and switch over to knitting.  As my husband knows, I like being productive (ie always making things).  So even though the sewing side of my brain may shut down, another side of my brain happily takes over.  :)

Once I feel ready to make a sewing plan, I sit down at my sewing table and rethink things from a few different angles. 

First Angle:

Instead of working with images on pinterest as a base to create something, I start with what I have on hand first & foremost.  Perhaps I have a languishing project that needs to be wrapped up.  I look at how I can bring some life back into it so that I get re-motivated to complete it.  I ask if it needs a fun embellishment, do I have something in my stash that I can use, was there something on pinterest that would make this garment awesome?

Second Angle:

I frequently pull out all of the patterns on my shelf that I want to make.  The pattern pile is usually around 20 or so, and I’ll start making priority lists vs. gaps in my wardrobe.  Every time I do this my list changes based on my current mood & weather outside.  I don’t mind that I change my mind often; it keeps me motivated and happy to work on my sewing projects.

Third Angle:

Independently, I’ll write down current projects I have sitting around that need to be finished.  I rank them into a few different lists like: top 5 easiest to finish vs. ones I most want completed vs. the ones that have been sitting around the longest, etc.     

As a treat for finishing an old project,  I add in new pattern or two (or three or four) that I want to sew up that I can add fun, new vintage embellishments onto or I pick out a fun fabric from my stash to use.  This keeps me interested and using some visual inspiration *wisely* so that I don’t let it consume me.

I’m a big fan of making lists since it keeps me straight and organized.  But I’ll be the first to say that I’ll deviate from my list often and repeat this whole cycle over many times a year.  At first I felt guilty about it, but I’ve since learnt that this is just how I function and embrace it.  For me sewing is fun and when it stops being fun…. well this is when I take a few days off and re-group and figure out how to make it fun again either by sewing something new or by tackling an old project or switching to knitting in the evenings.

More times that not, Pinterest is the culprit for getting me overwhelmed.  Am I going to stop using it???  Nope.  :)  It’s still a great place I love to go to and I house most of my inspiration & links I want to remember.  I just have to use it cautiously. 

Thoughts on being visually overloaded?  How do you guys refocus yourselves after being in a sewing rut?

After reading this… if you still want to follow me on pinterest here’s my link.  Follow if you dare!  heh

In: Knitting Miscellaneous Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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