On Inspiration and Its Expression

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Sometimes it's fun just to bring out a blank slate and put down the chalk without having any idea of what will come next.  Being a Capricorn, I don't usually pull such capers as writing/painting/performing/attending events/public speaking, etc. without full knowledge of what I will do, how, when, where, and why, plus a complete agenda and outline.  But my shop is teaching me to let go of that, if only a little.

So I walk into a store or I wake from a dream or I see some long forgotten bottle or jar of something-or-other on a shelf in my workroom, and *flash!*--inspiration!  I've got an idea and I want to run with it.  I don't know what I'll do next exactly, but I've got the seed.  I start putting things together, arranging colors and supplies, researching ideas for more designs and more choices.  But I don't think about prices or consumer demand.  Those things are only secondary to the passion of creating something new.

Not to say that I don't think on a daily basis about pleasing my customers and bringing in the kind of items they express interest in, as soon as I can.  I do, and even now I'm hard at work on fulfilling some customer wishes.  But the chance to fulfill my own--especially when they weren't even conscious wishes until a moment before--is too exciting to ignore!

And yet the last thing I want to do is create for the sake of creation.  I love functionality!  I want it to have at least two uses, if not more.  I want customers to see a world of possibility in what I've made.  And not just a world I dictate, but one that is the child of their brain, one I couldn't have foreseen.  That, to me is the best outcome of my imagination.

Those flashes always come so fast and with such a brilliant light that I am compelled to get to work right away.  Which is a handy thing since the rest of the process is very, very long in comparison.  With an idea and a sketch that took 60 seconds, I can spend the following week in organizing the needed details (sources for materials, comparing prices and sizes, picking colors, correcting problems, drawing tons of design sketches...), and after that, I get to actually create the item (the sitting-still-hand-cramping part of the job).  As an Etsy seller (much as I do love it), the longest part is taking photos and creating listings.  Photos are fun to set up when you're trying for atmosphere, but a little tricky to pull off well.  To strike a compromise between clean, plain images and interesting ones is tough but always worth the effort.  I like the writing part best, naturally.  I try to craft short descriptions of my work that (hopefully) draw the reader into feeling a bit of that same excitement that spurred its creation. 

Being able to see each of these little projects to their end and then send them out to be a part of someone else's world is a real feeling of bliss for me.  And the more I do it, the more often come those great flashes of inspiration that shock me off my feet in surprise.  I see a little object or two colors side by side and *flash!*--there it is again!  Now I have a ever-growing folder full of these flashes, and I'm slowly working my way through them.  Some are ideas that customers have sent me, others are dreams or memories that I haven't thought of in years.  A few are pieces from my first manuscript that I'm working on getting published (cross your fingers for me!)  But most are just from some incredible moment when what I was doing and where I was standing seemed suddenly fortuitous, and a thrilling new idea was born.

Maybe this all sounds a little too grand for such a tiny corner of the world as my shop can market, and a tiny shop it is, but it is a joyful feeling to me to be able to open my mind to such experiences again and again, pluck from them something surprising, and then send them out to you.


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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