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Finding Inspiration

August 20, 2008

 I have been wracking my brains trying to think of a great blog topic for the week. It has been hard enough dealing with the fact that my bead mojo decided to take an unannounced vacation this past few days, but does that have to mean that all inspiration has flown the coop?

 In an either creative or foolish turn, I have decided to combine my conundrums, and face the beast head-on. What better topic for an artist’s blog than inspiration? I have taken three common areas artists often look to for inspiration. But the best inspiration needs to have a dash of creativity to it, so I have tried to assemble some uncommon ideas to get your mojo going, in hopes that it will also help mine find its way home!


Obviously other artists in your field will always serve as inspiration. But instead of confining yourself to your genre, choose another field entirely to use for inspiration. Since I work with glass, I would look to a favorite painting (Starry Night by Van Gogh); ironworks (an ornate, old gate to a cemetery); a favorite book or character (yes, I believe literature is art!); even architecture (imagine using an old Gothic church to move your muse). I think you get the picture (no pun intended!). Rather than looking at examples from your own medium, force yourself to open your world to the possibilities that exist within the artistic realm of expression.


Another major inspiration for many artists is nature. If you haven’t looked to nature yet, try it out. But don’t feel that you need to re-create a perfect replica of the rose outside your window (unless that’s your thing, of course!) Instead, try to view nature in abstract forms to apply to your art. What else is it about the rose that inspires you? The color, the shape, the scent? Allow you brain to take the idea of a rose and see what it connects with. All can be jumping off points for your imagination to create an unexpected masterpiece.


Using the right combination of colors can cause your work to go in directions you never thought they would go. But don’t just rely on a color wheel to get your imagination on fire. Look to textiles, magazines, and even product packaging, (all three of which are designed to catch your eye), for your next color combination. If you are feeling particularly brave, lay out a selection of colors and chose two or three. Now make something with only those colors. You will be forcing your brain to think in a different way, which will inevitably cause your end-result to be fresh and, hopefully, original. Choose colors that go with an abstract theme, such as “hope” and see what you get.

 Every artist faces times when it seems their inspiration has left them high and dry. But I believe the key it to get your brain making those connections between the world around you and the world of possibilities. Once you prime the pump, the ideas will likely flow so quickly you can’t catch up with them. And isn’t that a wonderful problem to have as an artist?


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