Take a look around and grab inspiration everywhere we turn. If we’re willing to observe, our muse can come from even the most unlikely of places. I think influences can sometimes even be unconscious, so sometimes it might be difficult to lay a finger on just what gets us motivated to create. Here are some ways that I get the spark I need to paint.
Music is one of my top two sources of inspiration, and it’s no coincidence since the word ‘music’ comes from the Greek word for ‘muse’. I’m the one playing songs on repeat, ignoring my husband’s eye rolls. I get jazzed when I find a new song or musician that I like so much that I cry during songs, overwhelmed by the beauty. There’s one piece in particular that I named after a favorite, ‘Pteryla’ by Novo Amor and Ed Tullett. They’re two of my choice musicians independently and work synergistically together
I thoroughly enjoy hiking and gardening, so it makes sense that much of my inspiration would come from the great outdoors. The fresh air, the wild growing flowers and herbs, the spectacular views. I particularly love going for hikes when I’m feeling less than inspired. A little sweat or just a relaxing waltz surrounded by flowers is enough to lift my spirits. But most times a good hike puts me in such a great mood that I become poetic enough to write or paint.
Speaking of Poetry
Words strung together like beads to make beautiful expressions. Poetry has always been enough to move me. I loved nursery rhymes and Shel Silverstein as a child, Poe and Hughes as a teenager. For a time, I couldn’t pull myself away from classical Japanese waka poetry which commonly centers around the seasons and romance. My recent reads are modern poetry from the books becoming by Renaada Williams and Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo. I felt a deep emotional connection to these works that have given me more confidence in creating my art.
Colors and color combinations are my number one source of inspiration. Much of my art is created with high flowing paint that has the consistency of water. Because of this, a mastery of color theory is often necessary. Blue is my go-to color. I can’t think of anything I’ve made in the color that I didn’t like. To step out of my comfort zone, I grab paint swatches at hardware stores or with Pantone to research how different colors look together before working. Fashion trends are another great option to find new ways that colors work together. But a lot of times, my inspiration comes from the drawings my daughter brings home from school. I think that children have an honest relationship with color; the colors are often bold and vibrant, full of vitality.
My muses come to me in song, poetry, nature and color. The world is full of so much more. Creative inspiration is a lot like love. If you’re open to it, you’ll find it anywhere, even inside yourself. So stay inspired and feed the hustle.
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