This is the kick off  to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 16.

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 16: Find 5 New Sources of Inspiration | Food Bloggers of Canada

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Alright, so dare we ask? How was Day 15? Did thinking about emergency prep seem like a downer? Well, rest easy because today is fun, we promise!

Today is about inspiration. We want you to explore but here's the important part! You have to step outside of the food blogging world and look for inspiration today.

It's so easy to get caught up in our own little world and look toward other food writers and photographers for inspiration.  But sometimes, you really need to push your boundaries and see how other creative people do things. As food bloggers we tend to get quite insular to the point where we can burn out quickly.

We all need to shake things up to stay good and relevant at what we do. Chefs travel and learn about new ingredients and techniques. Photographers change genres. Painters switch mediums from watercolour to gouache. It helps us all stay sharp, improve our skills and grow as creatives.

For a great read, check out this guest post by Maggie Zhu on Dianne Jacob's blog on how embracing a fashion project helped her work her way through being a burnt out food blogger.

It's Ok To Steal (Like An Artist)

To borrow a phrase and book title, go out there and Steal Like an Artist. Author Austin Kleon sees everything as being up for grabs! He wants you to observe and take what's around you and then turn it into something different or better or just make it your own! So go outside and see what you love and how you can transform it in your own way.

Or sit down with Google or Pinterest and type whatever comes to mind. We want you to find five new blogs, instagram accounts, YouTube Channels or magazines that aren't directly related to food and that spark something within you.

Look Outside Your Comfort Zone

Try looking for inspiration outside of North America. Global travel is a wonderful way to spark inspiration but let's face it - it's expensive and not always practical. So use the internet instead. Look for work by photographers, artists, designers (graphic, fashion, landscape, interior), writers, illustrators, activists and craftspeople outside of your comfort zone.

RELATED:  The 31 Day Blog Challenge Day 19: Using Google Search Console

See how they use lines, shapes, textures, patterns and colour.  Could you take the hard angles, lines and visual space of a typography poster to spark how you plate a dish?  Could an impressionist painting inspire your photography style? Could a bold colour pairing decision in a living room give you an idea of an ingredient combo for a salad? Who knows?

Here are some sites/accounts to check out that spoke to us!

  • Brooklyn Street Art - beautiful, bold urban street art
  • Fonts In Use - the world of typography - explore lines and visual space
  • Kim Klassen - a Canadian still life photographer who sees beauty in everything
  • Good Homes India - the Good Homes magazine you know but the Indian version (the site publishes in English). Exquisite modern interior design that embraces bold colour and textures.
  • Ashiya Kisa  - Russian watercolour artist who loves Japanese street scenes and a surprising amount of food. The link is her IG account but she also does speed paints of her work on YouTube
  • Minnie Small - British Youtube illustrator who offers up insight, inspiration, and a mix of pep talks and real talk about being a working creative - all while creating something beautiful
  • Hanabira - Japanese miniatures creator who builds the most detailed and exquisite dollhouses and dioramas completely from hand (and often from Daiso dollar store supplies)
  • Where Women Create - this is actually a family of print magazines but the Where Women Create title is packed with inspiring workspaces of creative women

Taking an hour or two a week to look at something new and different can make that little hamster in your brain start to speed up in his little wheel. There may not be some grand "AHA" moment, but it's happening without you even realizing it. You'll be absorbing new ideas and new visuals that will weave into your subconscious and trickle out through your work.

So, go ahead and start stealing like the artist we know you are!

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One Comment

Joanne T Ferguson

G’day! I think like in life, in blogging, there is so much to learn every day, true!
It is a process and everyone figures out what works best and looks best for them too!
We eat with our eyes, so food photography is always important,
I like the “realistically rustic” look as there is a time and a place for glossed up photos where the average person in their kitchen would be able to recreate the great taste of the recipe, but rarely the “beautifully and “professionally enhanced” photos.
Enjoying every day’s challenges and look forward to what else comes our way!
Cheers! Joanne

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