What is inspiration? (part 3; creativity series)

On where the ideas come from: inspiration & insight

I can brainstorm ideas, but my best ideas come when my subconcious is at work, and the idea "suddenly pops up". But really my brain was working on it the whole time. -- Cathy Card, Watercolor, pencil, computer art, http://www.cathycard.com

I am inspired by the past, particularly the 1920's-1950's. Folk art also inspires me, and I've gotten many ideas from old advertisements and old album covers.-- Rachel Cabaniss, painter (acrylics/ collage/ mixed media portraits on wood)

My inspirations are drawn from everyday life. Whether a lyric from a song, a conversation with a friend, or a good book, a creative catalyst can materialize anywhere. The purpose of all of my work: audio. literary, and visual, is to spark a dialogue. I try to give the viewing public not only what is in my head, but what is in my soul. And a voice to a people that might otherwise have none...My artistic interests center around social issues. -- Drek Davis, multiple media artist(mixed media, digital, writing)

Much of my work is autobiographical; I’ve kept a diary since third grade, and that comes naturally to me. -- Mary Jessica Hammes, Paper & Ink (comics); Fiber (quilting, knitting, wing); Performance (trapeze and aerial fabrics); Words (fiction), http://handywithaneedle.blogspot.com

Reacting to what I saw happening around me. -- Frank Hamrick, Photographer, Professor, http://web.nmsu.edu/~fhamrick

My ideas come from everything I see. My style comes from other art that I see.-- Bob Hart, bobhartart.com, creator of 9-11 Garden, currently working in 3d

I am usually influenced by other artists; particularly artists who have managed to preserved their independence, creative integrity, and identity. I am interested in the work of artists who developed their skills by working in professional trades that require applied craftsmanship and skills (comic book artists, illustrators, craftsmen), self-taught artists, folk artists, and the work of children. I appreciate work that is honest, spontaneous, and unpretentious, and strive to create work that is representative of those qualities. -- Mandy Mastrovita, graphic design, writing, mixed media

I try to see the mystery within the ordinary... I realize that may sound kind of hokey, but I don't mean it that way. To be open to experience and see (not LOOK but actually SEE) the world in all of its parts -- the lines, the colors, the flow, the form. It's not so much about the ocean as it is the curve of a particular wave, the dance of light, the colors... I try to take a few minutes each day to center myself so that I have a real moment of listening and seeing the world. It is an amazing place. I am so entranced with the concept of kinetic movement... that something can be moving while still or that every little part of a larger thing can be in motion simulatenously, that I want to capture some of that in my artwork. --Robin Fay, painter, photographer, graphic designer, www.robinart.com

People, life, my imagination... -- Jennifer L. Matias, painter(Acrylic, oil, interior design)

I've always been a haptic artist. I get ideas and ideas are what inspire me. The things that inspire me the most are the things which are most important to me... and the things which I think are important to people just living this life.I get alot off inspiration from my own faith, my experiences, that is something I naturally express. -- Mary Padegelak, Mosaic and Collage, < a href="http://www.padgelek.com/">http://www.padgelek.com

Sudden inspiration is pretty common. I also think about themes I want to express and how I should express them. I often look at other people's art and try to glean techniques and ideas from them without totally ripping them off.-- K.R., collage/mixed media/assemblage

EVERYWHERE. Most of what I read or hear lodges in my brain, and a large percentage of it gets spewed back out in my writing. My own life, news stories, haunting songs, historical tidbits about interesting people or events....Sometimes I want to find out everything I can about what makes people tick,and other things that are none of my business. A lot of my stories and narrative comics trace my efforts to figure out the world around me, and why they are the way they are. Other times, I just want to curl up inside my own brain and be left alone. That might be when some of my better work actually gets done,because I can sift through my own personal memories and pull out the funniest stuff. -- Jasmine Odessa Rizer, writer, pen & ink

I intuitively abstract the things we see in the real world into their elemental shapes and forms. Those shapes and forms are often then used to draw the design; that which the viewer sees. These simple shapes give me great pleasure - the shapes, the forms, the colors - and those elements are then presented to create interest in the viewer. Whether the outcome of the artistic expression is realistic or abstract, there is an attention given to the quality, and to the beauty of the colors involved, and to the lines that create the displayed design. -- Rene Shoemaker

My ideas, my inspiration, come from life. oooo, that sounded trite, sorry. But where else would they come from? I get inspired on walks down a street, in the vintage clothing store, in my back yard, at a gallery and while I answer your questions. Maybe you should ask, "when are you not inspired?" Inspiration does not strike when I'm watching TV, or when I'm at my day job. Maybe I should just stop doing both those things. -- Sarah Margaret Stubbs, painter (oils), http://www.sarahstubbs.info/

Visit all of the creativity series here

Interested in adding your voice? Email robin,robinart.com@gmail.com with your thoughts in video format or text. Videos will be added to southerncreativity .com's video files at youtube.

robin fay is an artist, web designer, web junkie and serves as the editor of moonshine.

An archive of robin's articles is located here.

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