Way back when, I worked in corporate America in marketing and advertising. And for several years I tried my very best to fit in and pretend it was a good thing for me. But as you can imagine, it just wasn't.
Anyway, one of my bosses at the marketing firm had me set up a 'swipe file'. A big chunky file where we stashed other ads and ideas we'd see and wanted to keep handy to trigger our own ideas. So if we were trying to come up with a color scheme, for instance, we could go to our color combo swipe file and get some ideas.
I'm sure I learned a lot of things in my years behind a desk, but this swipe file thing is pretty much all that stuck with me.
So I've recently begun my own swipe file (sort of). For example, I do a lot of small textile art pieces. Many times I've done an embroidery technique or whatever, sold the piece and, you guessed it, the technique flew away on the wind like all the ideas that pop into my head.
I keep sketchbooks where I've hand-drawn a lot of my ideas. But I recently began an 'idea cloth'...a piece of linen where I sort of 'draw' with threads and trinkets and come of up with ideas I can later use in my art pieces. And it's evolved into this really cool piece that's come in handy many times for me. Really a big source of inspiration, just looking at it and holding it in my hands.
So I just wanted to share...and there you go.