Finding New Inspiration
When creating art on a daily basis it’s interesting to stop and think where I get all of my inspiration from. Who are my favourite artists and influencers? How do I stay inspired? What I do when I have artists block?
To start with, without keeping sketchbooks and journals it would be very hard to track my work and progress. This type of work is actually one of my favourites. I love collating a load of images and samples from anywhere I can find them.
To find new and upcoming artists or crafters I generally love using the internet. Pinterest and Instagram are by far the best way to find new work and to discover someone new. I either search by hashtag or look at a profiles I already loves following list to find like minded individuals. The number of creators out there is astounding and I love being a part of the online community supporting each other and getting inspired by one another.
If however I want to get inspired by past work enough can’t be said for going antique shopping especially in Lewes in East Sussex. This is the perfect location to find lots of secret treasures and old books. Explorer guides are very common to find and always have beautiful illustrations to flick through, whether it be a bird watching guide or a guide to wildflowers. Usually I can also find a number of textiles and embroidered pieces but generally I like my inspiration to not be constricted to only textile art.
I try to visit art galleries both big and small on a semi-regular basis. This is an obvious thing to do but still necessary. I have always loved visiting the National Gallery in London to look at all the renaissance art and classical artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Jan Van Eyk. National Trust properties and stately homes are also a favourite of mine and are usually filled with Tudor and Medieval artwork which I just love. The grandeur of it all with all of their elaborate clothing and possessions but with simple pale faces. My most recent work reflects this. I have been wanting to emulate a looming portrait coming out of a dark scene. Because of this my favourite artists more recently have been oil painters or those that use lots of charcoal in their drawings. The majority of my work is realism but I do like to explore the more abstract, distorted landscapes and figures. This I think is reflected in my sketchbook work when I don’t have to commit to a long and time consuming embroidery and I can just focus on mark making. I find this can actually help me to express myself as with hand embroidery the process can be so long that you almost move on from the ideas and emotions you had when you started off a piece. It can be refreshing with the day light hours getting shorter to have a time when I don’t have to concentrate as much on my work and it helps me to remain as productive as possible.
Having said all of this with the nights closing in earlier during the winter months comes a lot of beauty in all of the bare trees and frosted mornings. Simply going for walks and looking at what is around me can act as my muse. Discovering the variation in flora and fauna throughout the changing seasons and the effect it has on the rest of the environment.
Staying inspired can sometimes be hard but for me the most important part is constantly looking for new things. I like to visit lots of places, watch different documentaries, read other creators blogs and flick through artist books. I do still get times when I don’t want to create anything new or I’m not happy with the work that I’m producing but I think the most important thing for me has been to allow myself some time and not to rush into pieces because I feel like I have to produce something that day or that week. Sometimes allowing myself this time lets me become excited about creating again and my inspiration finds me.