My favorite way to get inspired is to talk to new people. I have a lot of friends who run small crafty businesses, but it's nice to get a new perspective by bouncing ideas around with people in a different field.
Today, we had lunch with Rich Stevens and Meredith Gran, who are both self-employed webcomic artists. (If you're not reading their comics--Diesel Sweeties and Octopus Pie, respectively--then you should be. Also, buy some of their stuff while you're at it.)
It was really refreshing to hear what other artists are doing to expand their businesses. There are a lot of opportunities for merchandising, cross-promoting and collaborating. Rich is a fountain of ideas, and I came away feeling excited about creating new products (as opposed to feeling overwhelmed and stupified by my options, as I have been).
I feel guilty that I haven't released new designs this fall, like I'd wanted to, but too many things came up this year that effected my plans. I'm storing up energy this winter like a fat, hibernating bear, only without the restful part. The holidays are going to kick ass, and I'm hoping to be revitalized come springtime.
[I mentioned recently that I was working on a secret art project, and this robot pint glass was it. I stole Rich's Clango artwork from his website, and turned it into a sandblasting stencil to make this gift for him. I plan to make more gifts like this for other people that I admire. All in due time.]