OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Saturday, September 5

Finding Inspiration

Surely I am not alone in the never ending search for inspiration? The sort of search that I can lose myself in for days, bypassing teeball training, essential meals, ignoring telephone calls and cries for help?

Okay okay, I am not that bad but I am always searching for inspiration to add that extra dimension to my creative work and in turn my life.

So, where does one start?


I discovered the joy of Flickr about a year ago but only in the last few weeks have I truly begun to understand the pull of looking through Groups, through people's wide and varied interests, through colour co-ordinated photostreams, themed shoots and happy snaps.

One such person I found on Flickr (I can't explain how I found her, only that I had two cups of coffee and a white chocolate Kit kat wrapper by my laptop when I came to my senses). An article about her project was featured in the Notebook magazine in April of this year; 365 Reasons to be Grateful. Hailey Bartholomew is a photographer and mother of two who felt she was lacking spirit - inner happiness. As a way of finding this, she began documenting each day with a photo of something she was grateful for. To read her interview... click here. For her photostream click here. There are other image hosting sites such as Photobucket and Imageshack.

I found that particular idea resonated with me, and I found it immensely inspiring that she sought inspiration in her own life. I will actually come back to the notion of Gratefulness in a future post as I believe that practising gratitude enriches our lives and allows us to be better at whatever we do.

So the Internet as a whole.... who doesn't find inspiration online? Depending on your craft or your persuasions - there are zillions of sites that cater to almost every passion one could possibly have. I subscribe to several sites, home, fashion, interior, parenting, jewellery supplies - you name it - my inbox is full of it.

In particular I love Etsy's treasuries. Created by real people, they are a carefully curated collection of items on etsy that someone has sought out and recorded as their favourite things. PS. There is even a blog or website of past front page treasuries.... I will update this as soon as I find it.

People Watching.

How much fun is this! Either you are a born people watcher or you aren't. I used to come into the city and spend at least an hour in Forrest Square just watching the world go by. Talk about streetwear! I still do this now, and find it refreshes my mind and creative process. In my day job I deal with thousands of people everyday and I love that you can get a sense of a person (or be curiously surprised) by the way they present themselves.


Now don't go to sleep on me but don't you find old films fascinating? The language, the dominating culture of the time - my husband interrupts me here to say that he finds old Government/Political advertising inspires him. Hmmm. Not just old films but he has a point there - I love old advertising, signs, posters for films, record covers..... nostalgia with a twist.


Having my children - I have to admit I thought would be the end of my individuality and creativity. Boy was I proved wrong! As a mother, I am inspired to provide and create a sanctuary for my kids, to ensure that they grow up without prejudice, with compassion and a love for the world in which they live. I am inspired by their fascination with the minute details that pass me by (Why do snail shells have lines on them? Why does that flower have yellow dust on it?) There is much we take for granted! I am often on Kindy roster duty and I just love watching children draw, paint and glue without inhibitions - pure creativity.


Now like everything else, inspiration is about gathering ideas and translating them into your own creations. And respecting other people's designs and creations in the process. I love the riot of people at markets, the colours, the buzz, although usually exhausted after a market, I always make time to write notes down of what I liked and didn't like.


Colour combinations that should never be seen, and yet they are strangely appealing. Enough said!

Okay - the usual suspects of course - magazines, television, movies, books - I feel guilty piling them into one big lot - but we all know how much of this we absorb, almost as normal as breathing. I am a big fan of Interior and Architecture magazines, and have noticed over the years, that colour trends on the catwalk mirror that of interiors - which comes first? I really don't know. But I love the infusion and the borrowing of ideas. I have to be honest and say I am not a big television nor movie watcher - I guess it's about whatever takes your fancy.

Some of my favourite online sources...

www.designspongeonline.com/ - interior design at its best
www.flickr.com/ - image hosting site
keithlobue.blogspot.com/ - the Stuffsmith jewellery creator
jeanettes.typepad.com/ - Absolutely Beautiful things
www.sweet-juniper.com/ - Photos and blog of life and decay in Detroit

Yes, incredibly random but I enjoy the insight into other people's lives, and indeed their creative process. Perhaps, you may wish to keep a wee record of things that catch your fancy - everyone in my household has a visual diary (boys included) and we carry them with us, along with the camera to record things which bring us inspiration.

Enjoy your weekend!


Elise said...

Hello, you have the most fabulously wonderful site here and I had to leave this comment for you ! Your posts are beautifully written, creative and original too, and you have interesting pictures.

It's all perfect !

Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes.... 'Happy September'....

Sarah said...

Great post, Lotta!!

I especially agree RE: the importance of being grateful.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts/tips =)

Anonymous said...

Whoops, didn't use the right identity there.
That was Sarah TFB commenting ;)

I was going to add - I also know exactly what you mean about kiddies! I have a young half-brother whose drawings never cease to amaze me. There's always an element of humour in the little captions, too. If only there were a way to keep hold of childrens' imaginations....

Odd Girl Out said...

Great post Lotta - love the idea about giving the kids visual diaries...perhaps I should start keeping one myself too!