When I'm creating, one of the places that I go for inspiration is... YouTube. The Piano Guys, Pentatonix, Lindsey Stirling... watching people who are passionate about what they're doing helps me in my passion for what I'm doing. I happened onto this one a few weeks ago, and was struck by the creative freedom of mind needed to even think up such a thing:
When you're ready to start creating, where is the first place that you go for supplies? First to your supply drawer or closet or room, then to the nearest specialty store? As a knitter, I head for the nearest yarn shop. If I'm doing a handlettering or calligraphy project, then I seek out a pen shop or an art supply store. Before buying something, I will usually initially try to use something that I already have - and sometimes it leads to creative breakthroughs that I might not have made if I'd just gone and gotten the "right" thing.
But what if we take that a step further - instead of just using things we already have, what if we used them in unconventional ways? Try not to look at things as what they are - look at it like you are an alien from another planet, or someone who's traveled through time, and you have no context to even begin guessing what it's for. (Think the Little Mermaid brushing her hair with a fork.) Or, on the flip side of that, a paintbrush can be used to paint with. But what else can you use... a flower? torn paper? a cluster of pine needles? a rolled strip of fabric? A walk around your neighborhood (whether you live in the country or the city) can yield surprising results.
This doesn't just apply to brushes... you can write or paint with smashed berries. Arm knitting is a wonderful tactile experience. (Following careful research) make a summer salad with edible flowers or some other something that you didn't buy (dandelions are a safe and tasty place to start). Any semi-flat, reasonably porous surface can be written, drawn, or painted on (for that matter, who says it has to be flat?). Hang a dish towel in your bathroom, or a hay rake component on your front door. Our Creator gave us so many raw materials to create with - and as humans, we are so bound by rules and proper-use that we waste much of the potential in the things we have. Don't just think outside the box - cut up the box and make a birdhouse out of it, then let your imagination fly!