While it is very different for each and every one of us. I can show you my journey and hope you can gain some in site on where to start, on your very own journey.
Last year, I took a class on finding your creativity. You can read that post HERE. Truly, the biggest tool you can use, is that personal journal. You can find bound journals at almost any craft and hobby store for just a few dollars. Heck even a 3 ring binder with blank pages will do the trick.
Clip out all those pictures you see that "speak to you". Saving them in one place will give your creativity a place to land. When you selectively crop out all the extra "stuff", it's kind of amazing how it starts your creative juices flowing. Your journal is yours, so keep things you love. Greeting cards, doodles, secrets, anything important to YOU. It will become the basis of your next work of art!
A example of what I am talking about, is my Ghastlie Family Tree. This is a direct result of a photo I saved from an online Australian Quilt Magazine. I have to share a little secret. I was a crafter for many years. While most of my fabrics are long gone, the mauve was the last of a sheet I had purchased to make doll aprons. We all remember those mauve and blue days of years gone by, don't we! I am most hate to date that poor ole fabric!! :-) Who knew years later it would be the perfect match for a Ghastlie creation... So does this mean I can never throw anything away again? YIKES!
Here you see, is the photo that I saved. I loved the look of the Ginko leaves and the simple lines behind them. I am sure the artist of this quilt would cringe, at that though of their beauty turning Ghastlie, but what can I say? :-)
For my quilt, I started the top piece on a background of timtex. It gave the stiffness I needed and allowed me to be able to attack a ring to the back for a quilt hanger, which worked out quite nicely. A top sleeve would never had been an option, with the shape I went with. The 3 other blocks, were done the traditional quilting way, with fabric and batting, then bound. Using the beads to attach them together, was a play moment for me. I had seem some quilts at shows done this way, but never ventured into that realm myself. It worked out quite nicely I must say, and allowed things to hang straight! Some times I can't even manage that, in my regular quilting. :-) :-)
Another example of a quilt coming out of my journal.
This guy was a couple of patterns combined. One I purchased, the other I was able
to simulate from a very poor quality online photo I saved in my journal.
Here is a peek into the other pages of my journal.
I hope it inspires you to start your own.