Show Up
Show Up
Show Up
& After awhile the muse shows up too

There is a misconception… that has occasionally developed into a deceiving lie. That creative people, like me, are just SO FULL of creative inspiration that we HAVE TO create art. 

Like a bubbling, overflowing pot that’s about to burst forth and that’s what the end result is. The artwork. An expression of something that couldn’t be contained.


In some ways, that is true.
There are magical moments like that where you just feel like you’re possessed.


Positively mad & so full of energy that you know you do HAVE TO ride this wave and create the thing that’s bursting to be born.

It’s intense and crazy and sometimes really awesome. 

besides the burn out

and our very human need to sleep, eat, play & all those normal things. 


That’s the 90% of all creative endeavours. 

Especially when, like me, you’re doing this as your job.

There really isn’t a magic formula. Every creative, especially those with a sustainable creative practice, has some form or other of this formula.

You show up.

You do the work in front of you.

You go home & rest.

Tomorrow, you show up again and repeat. 

Some of us like to infuse music.
Some like to start with a ritual of research, the perfect cup of coffee or an exercise routine.
Others sleep in until the afternoon before stepping into their respective studios.

But in the end that ‘formula’ is the same. 

The muse can’t show up to shower you with that intense energy of creativity to be burst forth on the canvas,

if you’re not there standing in front of the canvas. 


I use to keep a sketchbook journal where I wrote a lot of notes.

My sketchbook was never anything arty & fancy. I didn’t paint in it much or do full-page drawings. Yes, there are plenty of doodles and sketches. Mainly just notes.

Nowadays, I love my iPhone. There is a folder in my Evernote called ‘Inspiration for paintings’ I also have notebooks for quotes. Plus my ‘notes’ nowadays are just quick random photos from my everyday life.

I’ve found, with the fullness of a mama life, I have to be prepared for little notes of inspiration from the muse no matter where I am.

Before kids, I was usually in the studio and I could just start on the inspiration straight away. At the very least I was only a few steps away.

Nowadays, I could literally be doing the grocery run, hands full of trolleys, toddlers & tantrums. 

So if something makes me stop for a moment, I’ve learnt to just notice. To catch the whisper of inspiration before if fades.

just notice! that’s a practice too!

I take a photo and know that my weekly photo reviewing will mean I will put it into the appropriate notebook. If I have an extra second, I put it into the notebook straightaway with notes. 


That’s why, questions like: where do you get your ideas?

is such a hard one to answer.

It could have been a single moment during a very busy, monkey mind day. 
My intuitive mind stopped everything to focus on this flower I noticed on my way to buy milk. It was only a split second, but the pause was definitely there. 

And that somehow, when reviewed with my notes, inspired another photo of this texture I saw while I was walking to the cafe during a kinder run.

Mixed with maybe a half dozen other inspirations I don’t even know I’m thinking of.

My days are already so full that I only have time to just create from these ideas that are waiting patiently to be created.

Most days, I don’t have the time, or energy or mind space to back track my incredibly crazy, complex & multi-directional ideas to where they originated from. 

And to be honest, I'll rather just create than question the source of the inspiration. 


So instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, show up at the easel. 
Show up at the writing table
Show up to the guitar/piano/drum set
Show up in the kitchen.
If you wait until you have the idea, you’ve probably missed the moment when the muse shows up. She’s fickle like that.



(these wallpapers are available in the Insider library exclusively for insider members - please sign up here to gain access. Join today as older editions are removed when new artwork is released every month)

some days i may not feel like it either. 

Like there is a huge cloud covering my minds eye on where to go next. 

I’ve found that just showing up in the studio still helps. Even if all I do is clear up my space.

The act of decluttering can also work it’s own magic. It creates a kind of stirring up of the bottom of the river.
Something may uncover itself in your mind as you’re consciously occupied in something mundane. 

There is also a kind of silence when you’re just in your space. Even if it’s just sitting in front of the screen with the blank page.


  1. Keep a folder of ideas & notes to cultivate your inspiration garden. 
  2. Show up at your ‘space’ of creation anyway & touch your tools. Paints, pens, keyboard, clay, wool. Clearing, cleaning, tidying & decluttering can also help stir up some of that dusty fog in your mind.
    At the very least, it clears a space both physically (or even just digital folders) to make room for the new creation that you must TRUST is coming.
  3. Just START. Know that it will be bad, release the pressure for perfection and get some paint onto that canvas. Words onto that blank page. Fingers on the keyboard. 

where do you get your ideas?





You may also enjoy what I shared for these wallpaper artwork:

When It Seems Impossible

Do What You Can

Let us Begin

When You Want To Start Over 

Madison Whiteneck