Learn how to harness your embroidery inspiration with tips and an excerpt from the new Mastered course, Business of Embroidery with Karen Nicol. This course is part of the Mastered embroidery school which also includes courses on creative embroidery, goldwork and Tambour beading. We also have more information about Mastered, and their focus on “designer-makers” here. All of the images below are from Karen’s incredible embroidery portfolio.

Harnessing your Embroidery Inspirations

As an enthusiastic embroiderer you may long to produce your own designs rather than relying on kits or pre-made templates. But where do you gather the ideas and the inspiration? How do you know where to start?

In this extract from Mastered’s The Business of Embroidery online course, professional embroiderer Karen Nicol shares how she gets inspired. Karen has worked with world class designers such as Chanel, Matthew Williamson and Marc Jacobs as well as brands like Anthropolgie and private clients including former U.S. presidents, so she knows how to come up with great ideas.

What can you put into practice based on Karen’s thoughts? If you need more ideas here are some further tips:

1. Record everything that inspires you even if it’s not relevant for a current project. Building a collection of visual treats will provide a store of inspiration for the future and will be ready for you on the days when you need a creative boost. Try using your camera phone for a quick way of capturing little details. Alternatively, carry a notebook and jot things down as you see them.

2. Drawing isn’t just about producing finished pieces of art, it’s also a fantastic way of honing your eye. You can stare at something for ages, but you won’t take in as much information as if you draw it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think that you’re good at drawing, it’s more about developing your focus and your creative eye. Be brave.

3. Start a color notebook where you collect snippets of color, whether photos, objects or pictures taken from magazines. Group colors together so that you have your own vivid reference book.

4. Collect things that you love. Your own passion is a huge part of the creative process, so gather pictures (or actual items) of things that make you smile. Think about how you can build their inspiration into your embroidery.

To learn more about producing unique embroidery and how to sell the pieces that you create, get a free one hour trial of the Business of Embroidery course.

Sign up for Mastered courses with a 20% Sew Mama Sew Reader discount! Use the code “SMS20.”