current inspiration - fall 2018

I’ve been feeling lost since around September. When it came to my art, I had business goals, I had a vision of what I wanted to be doing as an artist, I had motivation, but something was missing.

I think I was lacking any sort of direction. What I mean is, I knew I wanted to create art that could be put onto products and to be sold as prints, but I didn’t actually know what that art should look like. I was stuck behind an art block.

I thought Inktober would help me find my way out of it, and while I didn’t finish it, Inktober helped me in two ways:

  1. I learned that I really don’t like prompt lists. I get why some people find that putting constraints on their work can help, but it’s not for me. I’ve even tried coming up with my own prompt lists and still struggled to create.

  2. I realizd that the work I’ve been making up to this point wasn’t fully authentic. It was missing a certain weirdness. I’m a little weird! And that 100% needs to show up in my work. The #glamzombiehand series I did for Inktober allowed me to explore and lean into my weird side a little bit and I was happy with the results.

I’ve spent the last couple of months really paying attention to what resonates with me, and here’s what stood out:

Blue Planet 2

 Photo taken of a still from and episode of Blue Planet 2. I have a new appreciation for crabs.

Photo taken of a still from and episode of Blue Planet 2. I have a new appreciation for crabs.

Watching Blue Planet 2 really sparked my imagination. I had already had an interest in alien worlds and had been wanting to find a way to express that. This series of documentaries made me want to explore that idea.

Zeke’s Lunchbox

 From @zekeslunchbox on Instagram.

From @zekeslunchbox on Instagram.

Zeke’s Lunchbox (Julia) is an artist after my own heart. She uses all of my favourite colours, and her subject matter is right up my alley.

Shanna Van Maurik @nogobed

 Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

Shanna’s work kept showing up in my Pinterest feed and I’m so glad. Not only am I in love with her colour choices, but the looseness of her technique is something I’m always trying to strive for.

Ban.do

 From @shopbando on Instagram

From @shopbando on Instagram

Ban.do is a brand that I’ve been a huge fan of for a while. Not only are they fun, quirky, and inspiring, but they feature a lot of great artists in their planners and on their products, and it might just be a secret bucket list item for me to get my work into one of their planners. :)

Takashi Murakami

 Photo taken at the Vancouver Art Gallery at the show  The Octopus Eats its Own Leg  by Takashi Murakami.

Photo taken at the Vancouver Art Gallery at the show The Octopus Eats its Own Leg by Takashi Murakami.

In March of this year we were lucky to have the Murakami show The Octopus Eats its Own Leg come to the Vancouver Art Gallery. I left that show feeling incredibly happy and inspired. I love Murakami’s views about the line between fine art and “low art” or commercial art, and it showed me that just because I put cute faces on things and use a lot of pink, doesn’t mean I’m any less serious of an artist. I can be serious about my art without focusing on serious subject matter.

The takeaways

Ultimately these points of interest have given me a list of things to inject into my work:

  • Colour, nothing new there.

  • Weirdness, I’m letting my freak out.

  • Playfulness, let’s not take life too seriously, okay?

  • Fine Art can be cute. It can be funny, too. See above about not taking things seriously. And I shouldn't be self conscious about my work being “cute”.

  • Exploring alien/unusual landscapes, creatures, and vegetation. I’m ready to leave this plant and dream up my own.

  • Loosen up! Perfection is a creativity killer.

Finally, I feel liberated from the block, and I’m ready to start making like crazy again!

deep sigh of relief