Finding Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration?

How do you like capturing those inspirations?

I find inspiration everywhere and I’m so grateful my phone has a camera on it! Technology can be a challenge sometimes but BOY how I love being able to whip out my phone and take a snap when I see something that catches my eye!

I just finished a new collection, and now the administrative tasks start. Many creatives feel drained after finishing a project, like they may NEVER want to do their work again. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. It’s normal to let your creative spark rest after finishing a large project. You need to rejuvenate…and rest your creative muscles.

Many times, I use that time to clean up, organize, and take notes on the collection…what worked, what didn’t, and how I feel about the finished product. I might also jot down ideas that come to me that are inspired by the finished product.

But mostly, I rest.

And that’s where that wonderful little built-in camera comes into play. I’m not looking for ideas. I’m just letting my mind wander and keeping my eyes open. . . not looking for anything in particular; not expecting anything of consequence. That’s when the beauty shows up.

Since my work is inspired by texture and color, I find myself drawn to patterns, shapes, and colors not necessarily the objects themselves.

Here are a few I found this weekend.

mushrooms
I found these growing among the rocks around a fishpond. What lovely little textured cups! I had to look hard to figure out what they were. They are mature mushrooms-growing horizontally to find the light, their caps have turned inside out above the water. Fascinating texture, color, and composition. I can envision using this as inspiration for a 3-D collage piece someday!
flower
I LOVE the color here. It is the most beautifully saturated orange and red, with silky yellow highlights. What a beautiful color palette for a painting or a pattern for surface design. Those deep greens behind it really make the flower come alive.
cactus base
Can you guess what this is? It is the base of a cactus. It is huge, and very woody and firm. This is going to be a collage one day, probably a flat collage with fibers or fiber paper. The texture on the cactus base was fabulous!
ferns
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Never say never when walking past a refuse pile…after a bit of flower bed clean up, this was just lying there. So many wonderful shapes. The curls are my favorite and those will be reworked into a surface pattern design for digital printing. But I can also see those shapes made out of fibers for a 3-D piece as well. And I’m actually pretty fond of the muted colors…we’ll see. . .
rain chain link
Got any ideas? Know what it is? Well, it’s a link on a rain-chain hanging from a rain gutter. These are artful items that channel rain down out of the gutter, and it makes the most beautiful babbling-brook kind of sound when the rain runs down and through it. This particular chain has these wonderful, intertwined teardrop shapes all the way down, getting smaller as they reach lower and lower. The blue and brown combination is intriguing, so I hope to use this in surface pattern design as well. Rain chains aren’t only beautiful, but nice to listen to!

My photos aren’t professional. They’re spur of the moment. That’s the best part.

I didn’t go out “looking” for inspiration. I was just out-and-about, and found interesting things, took some quick photos with my phone, and now have several ideas to work from later, when it’s time to create again.

I recommend keeping a separate digital library of photos you can use for inspiration. File them in folders by topic, subject matter, color, or location…whatever works for you! Then, when you are ready, you’ll have a bunch of ideas to choose from.

Create before you consume, but then forget about the work for a while and play. That’s what I did, and it was well worth it!

So, where do you find your inspiration? And what inspires you? Share your ideas below in the comments.

Join me in my free Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/virginiasstudiocats for more encouragement, and share your inspiration with other creatives.

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