I’m inspired by what I see. Every so often, I’ll peek over a fence just to see what’s on the other side.
I like taking a walk through town, art walk, an exhibit, or peruse an online collection of art just for inspiration.
Why do I feel this way? If I were a scientist, would I refuse to calculate others’ research into my theories? Would I fault a writer for reading works of other novelists?
In art world, I run into artists who guard their innovations fervently. They put up barbed wire to keep me and anyone else from peeking over their fence. What is it with this feeling of propriety?
I ask myself if I want to be generous and encouraging to other artists, or, isolated in an effort to protect my work. By choosing the first option, I freed myself from the Me Versus You mentality that so many artists feel. Fortunately for me and you, there are many artists willing to give generously of their time, work, and experiences through their blogs. They encourage you and me to peek over their fences.
Sometimes taking that peek might be all I need to discover a new love or direction of my own. Suddenly, I can visualize the possibilities.
To make an unique work of art, I must combine my knowledge of new techniques with my own inspirations so I am able to look at something I’ve made and know it’s true reflection of myself. It’s only when I’ve combined a technique I’ve learned with my own inspiration that I feel I’ve made something amazing.
Inspiration isn’t always easy to find. This last year, I’ve been paying attention to my moments of inspiration and attempting to find the source. I discovered it in my own artistic personality, which, as it turns out, is a split personality. One is called the Observer, the other the Experimentalist. Each finds inspiration in different places and through different means.
The Observer me is extremely sensitive to the world around me and gain inspiration in the details. I see an unusual color combination that inspires me or feel a soft and cuddly object that spurs me to create. For me, a trip to art museum or a hike through the woods is extremely inspiring. I gain a lot of creative energy from my strolls.
As I delve a bit into the Observer’s world, I find I often have a highly developed ability to visually discern and appreciate the small beauties in the world around me.
Claude Monet is one artist who carries the mantle of the Observer well. Monet would bring multiple canvases with him when he went out. As he observed the light change out and the light change over the course of a day, he would switch out on painting for another, thereby creating a visual record of the differences in value, tone, light, and shadow as the sun’s position changed. If I look closely, what would it inspire in me? Did it matter what I am looking at?
Like a homing pigeon, I find myself returning to images of mountains, waterfalls, oceans, flowers, and animals over and over again.
Part of discovering my artistic personality is to recognize my personal imagery. I don’t know why I feel a connection to some things rather than others. But, I know they never fail to calm, inspire, and captivate me. In my role as Observer, I find myself fascinated by the texture of tree bark, wild grass, weather patterns, the look of lace, and hand-blown glass.
I long to express my personal imagery–including those details others might not notice–through my art. I want to give others the gift of appreciating something as I do. Let them peek over my fence to share my vision. What fascinates you? Are you an observer, experimentalist, or both?
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)