Inspiration for Artists

10 Baby Steps to Replenishing Our Creative Spirit

Me Ra Koh

Steps to replenishing our creative spirit is something I take seriously.  Trying to create while running on empty doesn’t work well.  It’s certainly not sustainable.  And yet, there are baby steps all around me that I can take.  Whether it’s the craziness of the holiday season or a dry spell I’m walking through, I love and need to take time away to replenish.  Here’s a recent list I made of 10 Baby Steps to Replenishing Our Creative Spirit.  You can join me if you’d like!

If your creative well is empty, you have to check out this course that Me Ra Koh offers on steps to replenishing our creative spirit!

1. Accept the request to do a fashion shoot with a Creative Director unlike any other I’ve met. Soak it in and challenge myself to get out of the box. Exhausting? Yes! Worth it? Heck yeah!

2. Take my tripod out late at night in the quiet snow and goof around with my camera and the Christmas lights…not for anyone else but my own enjoyment.

3. Sleep in two, even three days in a row.

4. Choose not to blog for a couple days and let my mind rest (even though I struggle with being a people pleaser and not wanting to let any blog readers down).

5. Spend the day with three other beautiful women at a Christmas Coop, homeschool tea party with 10 kids running around and mom’s having tea while soaking their feet (in hot Cranberry water–ooh, la, la).

6. Enjoy every moment of the annual Christmas PUG dinner Wednesday night. (Fellow PUG friends, you are water to the soul!)

7. Watch old Christmas movies with the kids and Brian on the couch (in the middle of the day–a time of day I never watch movies) as we watch it snow outside and tend to Pascaline’s cold. Talk about cozy.

8. Take just Blaze and our dog Rosie out for an adventure in the snow–turning into a wonderful, long afternoon walk. I consciously choose to leave the camera behind and let the rest of my body, soul and spirit take in this rare moment with just Blaze.

9. Pray alone, with Brian, and with our little ones. I ask God for a picture of life, hope and peace. He answers back and says, “rest…rest”.

10. Hear the Artist’s Way invite me to open it’s pages again. This quote jumps out at me, “Every time we say Let there be! in any form, something happens.” Stella Terrill Mann

What about you?

What baby steps to replenishing our creative spirit have you tried? Any favorites? Please share. I would love more ideas!

If you’re in desperate need of a creative boost, consider taking my Restart Your Creativity course in January.  I offer it once a year.  The course is all about filling up your creative well and helping you break through creative ruts.  Read reviews from past attendees and check out the weekly themes we will cover.  You will fill up on so many levels by the time we’re done! Many women take it multiple times!  Click here for more details on Restart!







  1. ali says:

    Our ladies Christmas dinner this year was “Finding Peace in the midst of the Season.” I took the meaning in more ways than one. The season of Christmas is SO crazy and what was even crazier this year was being involved in ALL of it. I sang and played guitar for the ladies tea during worship. Played guitar again for the MOPS group at the church. They had decided to take the kids caroling at an assisted living center. I was in the choir for the Christmas program. Practices and more practices. During the evening program I had 5 minutes notice to sing the solo because my dear friend completely lost her voice mid service. AHHH! Refreshment team after the program was over and latte ministry next week! On top of all this, people are asking me to take pictures of all these events as another voluntary move. I definitely was NOT walking in peace at the beginning of this month. I really prayed that I could just enjoy myself at these events I was serving at. I prayed for extra patience and the motivation to do fun Christmas-y stuff with the kids. To be able to say “no” though as hard as it was (I’m a people pleaser to) to the volunteer picture taking at church while I was doing these other ministries. The only way I could walk in peace was by not letting myself get too crazy with serve, serve, serving others while forgetting my family. I know being involved in ministries a wonderful thing to do…but my family is my ministry first and foremost. By being obedient to my calling as a wife and mother, God has just overwhelmed me with Peace. I know this could be true for “stormy seasons” of my life too. It doesn’t have to stop with just the Christmas season. You are so on the right track. Just keep enjoying this time for you, Brian and your little ones. The blog can wait…we love you and understand when you need your time 🙂

    Take care MeRa! I pray that you would just be overwhelmed this Christmas Season with Peace and that you and yours have the Merriest Christmas YET!!!
    Love, ali

  2. Sandy says:

    “Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45

  3. jen sulak says:

    go outdoors with a fellow photographer friend..and pick a location to just go *play*. No motives, No ideas…just go. lol!!!!
    That is what i’m doing tomorrow.

    Tonite, i have a wedding.


  4. Estelle says:

    1. Take a Bus ride down the main shopping street in London, England to look at all the Christmas lights.
    2. Watch a Christmas movie everyday
    3. Only listen to Christmas music in December
    4. Make mulled Wine – is this an english thing??
    5. Sleep and read and listen and wander around the urban wilderness of Cenral London – where I live?
    6. Now that I have done everything I need to – take my camera out for the day!! (that’s tomorrow)
    7. read your website for inspiration and others – honest I do!!!

  5. Dana F says:

    Sit down and write a handwritten note to someone who has been on your mind and you have not been able to connect with recently….

  6. shawna says:

    I’ve been doing many similar things. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and three steps ahead of myself during the holidays. Especially since my parents will be staying in our little apartment next week! I bake as meditation, and sometimes I can even convince the husband to do the dishes and then it’s REALLY a relaxing endeavor.

    I can’t express how much this snow has rejuvenated me. Not to mention work was closed yesterday so I got to stay home and enjoy it all! I ran outside and accomplished my winter goal of photographing a snowflake. The results will have me smiling all winter. :O) I hope you are having a wonderful snow break this week.

  7. Denise says:

    wonderful post!!

    I always try to do something I’ve never done before – it doesn’t matter if it has anything to do with photography or not – just something I’ve never done before.

    I also love to sit somewhere quiet and read for an hour or two – nothing pulls me away from reality more.

  8. Sharon says:

    I like to watch movies I find inspiring and look through my binder of inspiring photos I’ve cut out of magazines and just let my mind run crazy with the things I’d like to do in the future and all the things I would do if there were no boundaries at all.

    I also get to thinking on new levels walking my dog. He and my cats inspire me lots.

  9. Kate says:

    For me, it’s food. When I need a bit of pampering I indulge in expensive cheeses, good french bread with olive oil & balsamic, a nice wine….whatever tastes make me go “MMMmmmmm….”. A full happy belly is a good feeling. Maybe it sounds silly that food would help renew my creative spirit, but when I feel pampered and indulged and content, I think the creativeness just flows.

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Amanda mays says:

    Lovin this post! The past few days I have…

    slept in late and then laid in bed a little longer taking in the amazing glow from the snow shining in through the window. That light that only a white wonderland puts out feeds my spirit!

    Dresses up chase in a million layers than watched all cozy through the window while his dad and him made a huge snowman! Than I brought out raspberry syrup and made real snow cones!

    Spent an amazing evening with the funnest most creative friends a person could ask for! PUG time is a blessing in so many ways!

    Made Christmas cards by hand with love! Wrap presents and gather up a few gifts for charity!

    Made banana bread and “crispy treats” with chase because that’s want he wanted to eat.

    Took time with a cup of green tea to just breathe be thankful for all I have and not worry about all the millions of things I need to get done.

    One of the many things I have learned from you and the other lovely ladies in this community is to take the time for yourself! Being your own bestfriend, taking care of your soul and breathing in life is the greatest gift!

  11. Steph says:

    On a side note… I had a dream last night that I called you really late about the silliest photography question ever and when you picked up, I even for got what it was! So even though it was just a dream… I am just writing you to apologize!! :~D

    Glad to hear you are in the midst of unwinding!

  12. ali says:

    I am such a goober! I thought I was writing a comment on the “Dumping Post” ooops…oh well, maybe it was meant to be and someone needed the encouragement…

    So for this post I would say that something that gets me in the creative flow is REDIRECTION of my creativity. Sometimes I just need a break from shooting.

    So I go through all my pictures and pick out my favorites to be printed for some bare walls or walls that need to be updated. Sketch out how I want the frames to look on the wall.

    Sometimes I will go to the store and buy a couple bundles of arranged flowers…then when I get home, I will mix all the flowers up and create little arrangements in my little milk glass vases and vintage creamer glasses to place all over my house.

    I will also escape to my scrapbook room and rekindle all the sights, sounds and smells that my photos bring back. I have fun documenting my life and my children’s lives with different papers, embellishments and my favorite…journaling. I think I need therapy. NO! Wait…it IS my therapy 🙂

    After I’ve scrapbooked and journaled, I’m motivated to take better pictures of my kids so I can keep on documenting….I also think it stretches me to think out of the box for my clients as well…

  13. jen sulak says:

    also, work on making a muppet inspired tote bag…to give for christmas…*smile*

  14. breathe. just breathe. In and out, repeat. It is what gets me through my hardest times. I like your idea of going out to shoot the lights but with my hubby heading out of town until Christmas eve I don’t think I’ll get to go, but it’s OK, the thought is relaxing enough, right?

  15. Pamela says:

    not picking up my camera for awhile. i read that annie liebovitz said it was hard for her to put her camera down & just live a little bit (living the moments, instead of ALWAYS capturing them). that is what i’m doing until i’m good & ready to shoot more. just like on an airplane when they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you attend to your children, we need to do this in our homes & lives, too. blessings.

  16. Grace says:

    Go to the museum or watch other people’s art work always inspires me in many different ways.

    Watching kids playing or talking with them can be very inspiring too!

  17. After reading this entry I was instantly reminded of “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” — Napoleon Hill