April 26, 2012

Finding New Inspiration

My hair stylist is an artist.  I mean the kind that really generates art work, displays it and even sells it.  Every time I come in for what I know will be a lengthy appointment, I bring my own reading materials.  Inevitably, I nab a book or magazine from my studio shelf and we gab about the contents.  Today I was bemoaning, as usual, that my mind is drawing a blank when it comes to making art.  The article that appeared in this month's issue of Cloth Paper Scissors by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer spoke of daily practice to keep creativity flowing.  Haven't I fussed about this a few times?  So yesterday I got out a sketch pad and pencil and just sat there with the tip of the pencil on the paper as if it were a Ouiji board and the pencil would start magically making art on its own.  My mind was whispering, "OK, now what?  This is stupid.  Draw something!"  But I don't draw.  Round and round we go.  Again.

As I was describing my interminable blank mind to the stylist, she picked up the magazine and ATC book that I brought in and suggested that if my creative juices have gone on hiatus, maybe I should stop looking for motivation and inspiration so close to home.  She suggested giving the "craft" books a rest and look elsewhere, anywhere, for inspiration - fashion or decorating magazines, photographs, anything that could get me started at least on looking at pleasing color combinations.  She recently picked up a book filled with nothing but photographs of butterflies and was inspired to work on a painting with a new colour palette.

I picked up my camera and started looking at the photos I took recently at the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and of my freshly planted garden (while the plants are still alive and my fingers are crossed).  One of the photos I took was of what I thought was THE coolest dressed father at Sea World, thinking the amazing graphics could serve as inspiration.  There was also a great exhibit of very bright poison dart frogs that reminded me of an Aboriginal painting I have at home.  These slimy but brilliantly coloured critters could serve as inspiration too.  We'll see what happens next.

Being creative seemed to come more easily when I wasn't trying so hard and over-thinking every step I take.