Where to find inspiration for art seems almost like a stupid question, as I have moments when I can't put down my pen.
When pausing to eat or sleep feels like an unnecessary waste of time.
When I can create maybe 10 new pieces in the space of a few hours.
When I'm so overflowing with ideas that I get breathless trying to keep up with them,
to get them down on paper,
before they've flown out of my reach.
These are good moments. Exhausting sometimes, but delicious.
Then I have moments when I might not draw anything for days on end, or when I try, but only the rubbieshest of rubbish dribbles out.
It can feel as though someone turned off the tap inside my mind, and I can't figure out how to turn it back on again.
Inspiration has turned into a limp being that I prod and poke at, but it won't move or give me what we want.
Those moments aren't so good.
I'm here for all of it, the good and the bad, the spring and the drought.
It's all part of the process.
I wrote the above as part of an Instagram post a few weeks ago.
I, as an artist, have never really liked the question 'What inspires you? Where do you find your inspiration?' It always made me feel slightly cringe. 'Inspiration' is a term that is easily over-used, and taken a bit too seriously.
I do however know what it feels like, and what it feels like when it is gone. I have learnt, over time, that the best thing to do when it feels as though a good idea will never come again, is to go and do something completely different.
I recently took up photography, mostly for fun, with the hope of incorporating it into my work here and there, like I did for this project, where I added artwork to photos taken by someone else.
Learning a new skill, without the pressure of being any good at it, has opened up my mind in ways that I really didn't imagine.
As an artist, I thought I already paid a lot of attention to detail, that perhaps I more aware of light and shapes than most people who don't need to look for those things in order to create on a daily basis.
Turns out, I was wrong. Learning photography has taught me to notice how light and shadow move, interact, and play with each other.
Texture has taken on a whole new meaning, another level of detail I wasn't aware I was missing.
Framing has already had an impact on how I structure my drawings.
And most importantly of all, it has given me something else to do. Now when I'm stuck, or frustrated, or a pattern isn't coming along as I would like it to, I can simply go out and take pictures.
Precisely what I did last week when I was feeling a bit stagnant, I went to botanical gardens with my camera and felt endlessly entertained behind the lens. The plants themselves are fascinating and beautiful, but I admit that wasn't why I was there, nor did it hold my attention.
What did though, was observing it all through a viewfinder, and seeing something almost different to what my eye was seeing.
Needless to say, it fuelled my creative cup. The photos are sitting in my mind's eye, waiting to be used in the next patterns in draw. The inspiration is there, put away in a box, ready for when I need it.
I hope you like these photos from that day at the Botanical Gardens. The light was bliss, the textures were bliss, the colours were bliss.