Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finding Inspiration

A friend of mine once noticed the longish title of my blog and asked why name a blog which is about my artwork a "wastepaper basket". I guess guess one of the things I should have explained in my first blog post is why it has its name. Well, the idea of this blog is not the finished product of why work, but rather how I arrive at the final piece. This blog is meant to be a mangled conglomeration of events, ideas, and people I get my inspiration from. Some things I hang on to and others I toss out. So the blog is really a catch all for the unorganized craziness that goes on in my brain.

Recently an addition to this wastepaper basket that's my brain has been my weekly art meetings with my friend Nicole. Most every other Tuesday the two of us (usually joined her and Doug's 3 dogs Ralph, Josie, and Kaiser Roll)bum around for a few hours trying to exercise some of our creativity from our undergrad days. Unless we get too distracted by episodes of Billy the Exterminator these meetings have been pretty fruitful. We haven't been doing anything big- no steel fabrication or large scale paintings (yet). In art, it seems to me, that the little things can be just as important or even more so because they engage you in the creative process.

In art education one never ending debate is "product vs. process". I am big time process oriented. Problem solving and working out ideas takes me forever. I think it is a really important to your growth as an artist to get completely involved with your corner of the world- this means scrawling things on napkins, taking pictures with your cell phone, or just taking the time to really notice what is going on around you. It is from all these seemingly insignificant things that the real magic starts to happen. This is why at every graphic design show I ever went to at USM had me looking more at the process notebooks than the actual finished product.

My point is, take time to cultivate your creativity. This isn't just limited to visual arts people- it is the same thing for writers, musicians, crafters, and performance artists. As the old cliche goes, "If you don't use it, you lose it". So set a side a bit of time during the week to do whatever you do to get your inspiration even if it's just two minutes. (Easier said that done, but hey, one minute of giving your brain a workout is better than wasting your time watching some commercial you've seen 19 dozen times.)

I recently learned about an artist, Marisa Haedike,who formed an arts business out of devoting her Thursdays to being creative. You can check out her website and blog here:

It's really worth checking out. I really suggest you look at her blog it has a ton of great ideas in it.

Happy creating.

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