Saturday, January 03, 2009

Inspiration

Inspiration: Stimulation for the human mind to creative thought or to the making of art.
Inspiration: Somebody or something that inspires somebody to creative thought or to the making of art.
Inspiration: The quality of being stimulated to creative thought or activity, or the manifestation of this.
Inspiration: A sudden brilliant idea.
Inspiration: Divine guidance and influence on human beings.

Inspiration is a state of mind. Being truly inspired is the only way one can create original art. And when I say inspired, I mean as in the definitions above, not because you are forcing yourself to create an art product to sell based on trends and financial goals. Real, honest-to-goodness, soul lifting, mind racing, adrenaline pumping, fever inducing inspiration that comes from the heart is of the utmost importance to artistic survival.

The creative people that I know, strive to engorge their minds, to continue to gain new knowledge about as much as possible to prevent their art from becoming stale. The more sources that influence each of us as an artist, as an individual, the more diverse and original our work becomes. Of course as an artist with an Art History minor I highly recommend looking to the Artist Masters to find inspiration but also to the great music composers, actors, icons, writers and philosophers of our world. However, I also think we need to gain a larger appreciation for the smaller things in our own lives, in the little section of the world we call home.

Where is this inspiration? Everywhere! All you need to do is choose your passion and begin an obsession! For instance, I seem to have a fascination with rust and decomposition; I find beauty where others may just see decay. How you become inspired is all a matter of perspective, of finding pleasure and beauty in the subjects/objects that interest and intrigue you in your own world. The most empowering inspiration can be found in the things that we can connect back to ourselves, whether is our own life experiences, or our children, family, friends, ancestors, culture or homeland. There is so much to draw from. I am inspired by my son, his imagination and the joy and freedom he exudes while creating art. I am inspired by the flowers I grow and by the discoveries I find in nature. I am inspired by my pets, by the animals that live on our land, by the clouds, stars, moon and sun. I am inspired by primitive carvings, architecture, ancient ruins, lost cultures, fairytales, myths and legends. I am inspired by beauty, textiles, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and fashion. I am inspired by books, television and movies both good and bad, and literally, by life itself. There is so much out there to stimulate our minds, if we let it. We all have our own outlook on the world, how we see, process and create from it is unique to each of us as an individual.

Anything and everything can be seen as inspiration. Whatever it is, make that inspiration your own. Take that little something special about your source of inspiration and try to capture its essence rather then reproduce it. For instance, maybe you love vanilla ice cream so much that you feel inspired to paint it? Why paint just a bowl of ice cream when you can have your viewer experience it! Find a way to paint that vanilla ice cream’s *essence*. Express visually the things that you enjoy about it, like its creamy texture, the richness of the vanilla color, the sweetness of the flavor, the roundness of that perfect scoop or just its simple cold joy. Combine that inspiration with something else you’re interested in. Why not paint a cat that feels like vanilla ice cream? Or create a sculpture of an ice cream womb? Or design a textile pattern that screams ice cream? Your inspiration doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Do whatever inspires you to express your unique vision. All you need to do is find the courage to allow yourself to open up and be inspired! Be free! Create with the joy and wild abandon of a five year old!

I know that’s what I’ll be trying to do! Stay tuned as I continue to share the things that I find inspirational. If you are in need of an immediate inspirational fix, please feel free to take pleasure in previous inspirational blog posts found under the labels Inspiration and Botanical Inspiration or check out my new Amazon widget featuring some of my favorite artists. Enjoy!

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