Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Inspirations and Complications

  How do people create? What sparks the figment of your imagination?  How do original ideas develop?  Ever since I picked up the paint brush in June and placed that acrylic to canvas I've wanted to paint more ... its become an obsession. The art blogs and videos I've been viewing have been creating a hunger, a crack addiction of sorts.
  I'm not new to art or making use of its creative powers.  I've always been artistic and for the last 17 years I've been using acrylic paints on plaster; always gratifying and after years of practice very relaxing. In addition to my love of acrylics I used to draw. I've had the ability to draw since I was about 3, I just had a knack for it but its appeal would wax and wane, even adding colored pencils into the mix did little to jazz-up my enthusiasm for it.
  My pull toward the arts has been consistent and I've partaken in my fair share of crafts, sewing, circut art, beading, even stained glass window making. But it just didn't stop there, I've also been a dancer and of course a musician, least I forget my first love of all the Clarinet! I've been playing nearly 20 years and was a music performance major before becoming an ASL Interpreter (which is an art all its own).
  Something happened internally (I've not felt in a long time) when I painted on that canvas ... it was so liberating! It was a moment in time that I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to. I was in the zone and I love that feeling. Time ceases to exist, aches and pains are eradicated and energy is endless ... my senses are dulled to the outer world and yet heightened to an internal vortex of creation!  Art truly is my drug of choice haha!!
  Just the act of painting or artistic expression isn't enough though. I need inspiration. I need the spark to illuminate the path I am supposed to take. Being unique is my niche, its kind of what separates me from from you ... lol ... no seriously, I am told VERY often that I am unique. I don't want the high road OR the road less traveled, I want my OWN road. I'm not saying that to sound entitled, but I'm all about honoring all that is ME ;)
  So how can I get inspired to create something new? Practice ... patience? Waiting?  Here's my dilemma, I can look at drawings/paintings/patterns etc and copy them. I can look at a photograph and re-create the image in another form. But this kind of replication clashes with my internal being ... I feel like I am leaching off of another's talent and tweak it to make it my own.  Is that what original is?  I would love for my mind to be as detailed as my eyes allow me to see, but simple thoughts such as "owl, tree, barn" rarely (if ever) give me enough inspiration to create those things the way I want.  How do I get past this hiccup in the creativity process?  HELP!


  1. First of all, nice to meet you! Thank you for becoming a follower and for your kind comment on Willowing. I love this post and your blog.
    Secondly, I KNOW!!! How funny that I was just going through the same thing! I spent the Summer being very productive and then . . . . nadda. I spent the last week trying to make my muse come out and play. Sometimes I do get inspiration from mags, books and blogs and sometimes a felling strikes and I just have to act on it. Like yesterday when I was doing dishes and suddenly dropped them into the sink and disappeared into the studio for an hour. But I do try to give it a rest if it's not there as forcing it has not worked for me.
    Good luck to you - I look forward to seeing what you come up with! xo

  2. that is so fun to hear how much you're loving painting! that's how i feel about it too...i could do it every day (and try to)!

    for me, when i first started finding my style, i paid attention to the paintings that i was inspired by and took the parts from them that i loved most. i didn't copy them exactly, but found inspiration in them all. then each painting became a collage of all of these elements i was loving and having fun with and the more i created the more they all became my own style...definitely lots of practice and recognizing what you're having the most fun with. and pushing through the times when you feel like it's not perfect or beautiful...that's usually when i'm on to something :)

    taking photos of the things i love helps keep my eyes open for inspiration too :)

    best wishes to you!

  3. Juliette, I love the advice ... I find your work very inspiring. I love how you can have an owl and he doesn't have to be in a tree, he doesn't even need to be out at night and mostly the owl doesn't even need to be apart of a full scene ... meaning when I would paint a bird, it had to be in a tree, with the sun shining, green grass and flowers. Those full-scene paintings (that I would make) look too cartoon-y if you know what I mean. They have a realistic atmosphere, but in a whimsy style with definite lines etc ... Looks too much a coloring book page rather then a true work of art. I'm learning lots!

    Kristin~ I too find inspiration in magazines and blogs. It funny how suddenly you can get a jolt to work on something so suddenly and in the most odd places. I feel that way at work and then I'm STUCK! You two are very kind, I love all your work :)

  4. I know that feeling exactly. It's an addiction :)

    As for finding your own style - I hear you there. I'm still finding mine... getting there. I'm slowly starting to realise I can be ME. That my style doen't have to be like everyone else's to still be art. I'm definitely finding that I am a grungy, messy painter. For so long I tried to do pretty and cute... there really is nothing about me that is pretty and cute so why I thought I had to paint that way I really don't know.

    Recently I am trying to work in a sketchbook every day - even if it's just taping in a feather I found or doodling a bit, pasting in a picture of someone else's art that has inspired me... it's SOMETHING. Like Juliette says - it's all starting to come together. I had someone tell me the other day that they picked my page out of a Circle Journal as mine straight away as they recognised my style. At first I took that to mean that I am samey samey and then I 'got' what she meant... I'm developing a style that's recognisable as my own. It made me so happy :)

    Keep a small sketchbook in your bag so that when you get your jolts at work you can note them down or doodle them quickly for you to work on later ;)


Penny for your thoughts ... leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!