After a few months of adjusting to some life changes and not having much studio time, I'm finally getting back into a flow. While feeling freshly inspired, I'd like to share some of the everyday things that keep my inspiration alive and help to fuel my creative process.
~Colors and Textures~
My eyes and mind seem to be in a perpetual state of seeking out pleasing colors and textures. It's something I've unconsciously trained myself to do over the years. It comes so naturally now that I forget it's not necessarily something the average person does. It's as if my eyes have a filter and everything I see is a potential element in my next creation. I love color combinations more so than any one particular color. I tend to be drawn to textures and patterns like those of tree bark or the overlapping shapes of scales. One of my favorite things is to observe the way different artists are drawn to particular textures and colors, and how it influences their work.
>Flora and Fauna<
I feel very fortunate to reside in the Pacific North West. I was drawn to it's fairy landscapes and rich ecosystem over 10 years ago and still feel inspired by all of the treasures I've discovered. I like to take my own photos for reference as much as possible and this area has no shortage of magical offerings. I quite frequently use imagery that holds a specific symbolism to me. Certain bugs, particular birds and animals, specific flowers. I enjoy working with the hidden meaning behind things and taking notice of recurring elements in my day to day life. I usually incorporate these things into my work sometimes consciously and other times quite by accident.
I haven't worked up the nerve yet to ask strangers if I can take a picture of them for reference but I'm inspired by of all of the different faces of passersby. Of course, it helps that I have been a caricature artist for over 15 years. My brain is trained to store facial features. When I'm feeling that my memory bank is not easily accessed, I will scroll through Instagram or Deviant Art and find an inspiring face or two. I love the variety of faces that the human species has evolved to express. Some of my favorites are dark hair with light eyes and vice versa, freckles, faces that can't be pinpointed to any one particular culture (mixed race), extreme features such as very full or very thin lips. Each face is like snowflake, unique and beautiful.
^The Little Things^
And by that I mean, my cute little furry ratties. Ha ha! Well, they do provide a lot of inspiration but besides them I also get inspired by little things that can't be photographed. My son's laughter, my partner's music and singing, the sound of the birds, drinking tea and sketching in a cafe, the smell in the air after a good rain, reading, the shifting of the seasons, deep conversations, experimenting with new mediums, being in the forest, quiet alone time, dreams, watching my favorite cartoons, and this list could go on and on.
What inspires you?
I encourage you to make an effort to seek out those things that inspire you on a regular basis. Especially when you are feeling sluggish. It's important to have downtime but sometimes it can lead to a feeling of being stale and stuck. I like to surround myself with things that are stimulating to the senses and please my mind and spirit. Sometimes all I need to do is change things around in my home environment to stir up the flow again. Whatever it takes to get myself out of a funk. Actually, this post has got me in the mood to spend some time in the studio, I better answer the call!