things to do in salem, 10 ways to inspire creativity around salem ma

Salem is gorgeous and full of creativity, all year ’round. That’s one of the things that I love the most about it…the whole city fully embraces creativity and the arts. <3 If you find yourself in need of a little inspiration, check out a few of my suggestions. From one creative soul to another.

If you haven’t wandered Artists’ Row, you definitely should. It’s a little section of Salem that is full of bright color, handmade artwork and workshops. Check out their website to find a schedule of events and keep your eyes peeled for workshops that might appeal to you. One of my favorites in Artists’ Row is Grace + Diggs. The shop is full of funky decor, huge brightly colored hats and more.

This next one should be obvious and it’s the Peabody Essex Museum. If you’re a fan of quiet time to enjoy the work of others, swing by. The exhibits rotate regularly so things are kept fresh and it’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Salem, if you ask me.

Some of you may not know this, so I wanted to throw it in the list here…on Tuesdays the Gulu-Gulu Cafe hosts a “drink and draw” event. They set up a scene on the stage for participants to draw inspiration from. There is also a Facebook group for this, which can be found here. It’s a good spot to share photos, get in the know, volunteer to model on the stage and more.

If a little color is what you need in your life, check out the street art around Salem as well as those that are part of the Punto Urban Art Museum. Wandering with a camera and snapping some shots of the vibrant artwork around the city might be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing again.

Coming up in June is the Salem Arts Festival which could be a great opportunity to breath some new life into your creative self. Complete with dancers, musicians, poetry, readings, mural slam and more, it’s an awesome time. To see images of last year’s festival, click here and here.

Something that always helps me as a creative person when I am feeling stuck is getting out of my own space for a little bit. Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for shaking stale energy off. A great way to get out and about is the Salem Trolley. Hop on board on a nice day and get some fresh air. You could also take your work to a cafe like Jaho and change up your scenery a bit. Not to mention, Jaho has coffee (obviously) and caffeine is always a nice little kick in the booty when you need one.

This sort of goes along with the change of scenery that I mentioned above, but I like taking a walk around the Salem Common and working from there if possible. I’ve spent time sitting on the benches with a book or a sketch pad, people watching and getting some inspiration from nature. I kept this item separate because of that factor – nature. Getting into the grass or the trees can do wonders if you let it.

Circle of Stitches is a brightly colored shop on the wharf, full of window light and good vibes. I had the pleasure of taking pictures and meeting the owner, Ana, when I included the shop as part of my business spotlight. To see those images and read about Circle of Stitches, click here. At the shop you can find everything you need for fiber arts, workshops and 101 classes to get you going. You can also stop in for help with your projects if you get stuck! Who knows, maybe your next favorite creative thing is knitting or crochet?

Fished Impressions/Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints is a shop where you can find everything needed for a day out on the boat. However, they also do fish impressions/prints which are available for purchase. You can also try your hand at one yourself during one of their classes!! Have you SEEN how amazing they look?! So detailed and beautiful, I am impressed with every single one. Their class schedule can be found here – maybe trying your hand at fish prints will spark some new ideas for you!

Last on my list is a visit to Wicked Good Books. I love wandering bookstores and reading about other creative people sometimes helps kick start your own juju. You might also consider grabbing a “how-to” style book on something you’ve been considering. Maybe you want to try your hand at graphic design? A book on Photoshop for beginners could be helpful. You might also simply see something in the shelves that gives you an idea that you hadn’t had before. Sometimes just being in the presence of other creative people or things is enough to get ya going! Check out the book list I created with Wicked Good Books right here for some spooky and Salem based reads, if you’re looking for a starting point.

Well, I hope this helped!! Feel free to comment below with your own ideas and I hope you get the creative jump start you’re seeking. Enjoy!! <3