One of the big advantages to our current traveling lifestyle is how many amazing places we are able to see. These adventures are a huge source of inspiration for me as an artist. But seeing so many incredible sights can also lead to a bit of inspiration overload and lead my artsy brain in all sorts of different directions!
With each new location, each new season, comes a whole new set of inspirations! So how does one artist handle so many different sources of inspiration?
For me, I keep my eyes open and take special notice of what inspires me, not just once, but on a continual basis. It’s easy to find one spark, but the trick is finding what will continue to spark over and over and over. Look not for the firecracker, but the forest fire– the spark that leaps and creates more sparks, more fire.
I make note but I don’t necessarily pursue those sparks right away. My sketchbook is full of idea scribbles, some pretty well developed, others simply notes on colors and forms. I also have a folder on my phone where I dump those quick sparks when I don’t have my sketchbook handy. Then, there is my favorite inspiration keeper– Pinterest! I have at least half a dozen boards where I hoard visual inspirations from subject matter to color palettes. I keep them private so they are for my eyes only until I decide I am ready to share them with the world.
I commit myself to what I’m especially inspired by at the moment and concentrate on exploring that inspirational idea fully. Each inspiration exploration becomes a series of work to be revisited again and again as I continue to find new ways to express that initial spark.
Once I feel like I’m done exploring a certain subject for a while, I’m ready to move on to another idea. But how to decide? Sometimes it takes some exploration in the studio to see what is moving me creatively or it could be as simple as how excited about an idea I am! The most exciting prospect wins!
At the moment, I’m exploring beachy and coastal inspiration in my VENTERS series– it is proving to be perfect for the coming summer on Puget Sound!
All images by me.