Where does inspiration come from?

This is a question I often hear.  For every artist there is a different answer.  For me, the answer isn’t always the same for any piece of work that I make.  Take the paper dolls I just made.  The human figures were an extension of my previous work in cloth dolls.  They were a simple sketch away.  The animals were a little different.  I’ve done cats before and could have just adapted one of my earlier sketches, but I had something else to go with.  In my recent flurry of clothing making, a certain leftover bit of fabric had caught my eye.  It was a very simple shape.  To me it suggested “cat.”  I saved it knowing I would use that shape at some point.

I was sewing a pair of brown twill shorts.  If you’ve sewn before, you may recognize the shapes that were cut away to reveal the “cat” in the negative space.  There is the front to the left, the back to the right, and the pocket up on top forming the curve of the head and ears.  As soon as the cuts were made and the pieces moved off, that cat shape jumped out at me.  I instantly recognized possibilities and pinned my “cat” onto my design board for the future.

Part of nurturing creativity is being open to new ways of looking at the world and new ways of doing things.  There is inspiration all around us if only we open our eyes to the possible.

What unusual inspirations have you used lately?

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3 Responses to Where does inspiration come from?

  1. ladyfleur says:

    I love the way the shape of the head and slender body somehow jumps out as “cat” without much relationship to real cats. I think this is why the cat paper dolls appealed to me more than the human figured ones.

    Like you, my inspirations often start with something visual that sparks a connection to something else. Underneath it is there’s usually an emotion or an abstract idea I’m looking for a way to express. As you say, being creative is looking for possibilities in the ordinary things around us.

  2. My inspirations always seem to be literary at the moment. I seem to be stockpiling ideas at such a rate I never need to look for an idea again!

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