Friday, September 2, 2011

Finding Inspiration

When hurricane Irene finally calmed, I captured this inspiring rainbow.  Rainbows seem to offer promise of better days to come.  Seeing a rainbow, gives me pause to focus on a positive thought; a heart's desire.  I expect it's because I remember hearing from my childhood that a rainbow is God's promise of never flooding the earth again.  It's a lovely thought.  Whatever it means to us individually or the fact it's the sun shinning on droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere, I find it to be an inspiration.  If we look around, there is inspiration everywhere.

The other day, I read a inquiry on a Zazzle message board, asking where do we find inspiration to create our design work.  The poster went on to say, she will take a photo of a design she likes.  It set off a series of responses; some expressing concern about plagiarism.  Ok, we know it's not cool to rip off artists design.  There are some people who think, if it doesn't state copyright, it's up for grabs.  Not so. Copyright stated or not is implicit understanding of intellectual property unless stated otherwise.

 If you admire an artist's photography work for example, ask if you can use it for reference.  When I have a block, I will sometimes look around Flickr for inspiration.  If I see a photo I like, I contact the owner of it asking permission to use it.  I also offer to provide a free copy of the finished work as way of expressing gratitude for the collaboration..  If you plan to sell the work, it's a good idea to state it plainly, i.e., artist has full copyright and use of completed work as deemed fit.  It's also nice to acknowledge the artists' photography work on your blog.  It establishes a circle of trust; a win/win for everyone.  It's good karma.

So where do I find inspiration?  In most instances, it's from my day to day experiences.  It could be something I read in a book (elephant drawing inspired by Rosey in the book Water for Elephants), a social awareness concern, a memory, or out of my interests. 

Observation of our surroundings is key to sparking creativity.  I find it helps to have a camera handy to capture images in life for reference. 

Bag, Bulldog bag
Bag, Bulldog by Dogs4U
Begin selling my art online at zazzle.

Visit museums to see how other artists do it.  Take in the images but don't use it as your own.  Looking at other work can help us think differently, opening up blocked channels.  Flip through magazines, listen to music and think of the colors you "hear" in it.  Consider the movement and tempo.  Keep an artist journal to collect your doodles. Doodles can lead to new pieces of work.  Take a new route, a Sunday drive or a vacation.  These are just some of the ways to help unblock channels to creativity.

How do you find inspiration?  You're invited to add your thoughts and comments here.

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