9. UNDERSTAND WHAT INSPIRES YOU

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Most artists will tell you that inspiration comes in all shapes & forms.  For myself, it is usually something visual…….it’s how I am wired.  I know the two things guaranteed to be creative inspiration for me are:

1. SHOPPING & 2. BEAUTIFUL BOOKS.   It is not ordinary, everyday shopping…..window shopping & inspirational shopping.  Not grocery shopping, but looking in little homeware shops & galleries, looking at handmade jewellery & the colour of new seasons clothing.  PAPER SHOPS……..ooooo the paper……hmmm…very inspirational…….I particularly take notice of signage, fonts & colours used, how they package up their goods, & how they are displayed.  Again, I am not talking about at big dept Venetian_intimate_apparel stores, but in the little boutique stores…..[interesting observation follows below re: department stores].  This pic was taken about 8 years ago in Venice.  It is beautiful soft blues, wheat & cream colours & was lit with warm lights that gave it a great sense of invitation.  Of course I am totally inspired by Italy in general, however, they REALLY know how to dress a window.    Many of the shops carry their stock in the window.  They are locked cases that are glass front & back.  I am sure the term ‘window shopping’ was born there because it is certainly an experience to behold. 

Oh and then there’s BOOKS.  I love my books, they are my friends.  I have gazillions of them & a library has ALWAYS been a part of my dream home.  Foodie books, house books, art books, garden books, travel books, the criteria is that they have beautiful pics or illustrations & artwork.  They need to be visually inspiring to get a place in my library.  If I am feeling creatively flat, I grab a pile of my books & a cuppa & it isn’t long until I have heaps of ideas to move on with.

Other things that inspire me include the seasons & the world around me.  I live near a major forest & National Park which is a leafy haven of cool fern fronds & huge (300′ + high) mountain ash trees that stand like sentinals in the forest.  It is an area that was settled about 120 years ago, but was farming community that railed flowers, vegetables & timber to the bustling emerging city of Melbourne.  Wealthy people built estates & fine homes on land on the ‘sunny’ (Northern) side of the mountain & planted magnificent gardens which today are some of the finest in the country.  In the Summer, it is like a lush cool retreat under the canopy of the ferns & trees, then Autumn arrives, and there is this phenomonal burst of blazing colours.  From deep russet & brick red to port & claret purple & red.  Delicious.  As Winter slowly overtakes the year, the Silent_sentinels_1decidious European trees have lost their leaves and the mornings are heralded with heavy fog & mist & on occasions, a sprinkling of snow.  You see from the pic how the trees are like tall soldiers, guarding the forest.  Eventually the fog clears & spring emerges, Red_calla_lily_web fresh  & colourful, with the fresh green of the new growth & the fabulous colours of the spring blooms.  I truely live with paradise on my doorstep………a shame I don’t like the outdoors!! LOL!!!

Sometimes just feeling the warmth of sunshine, the colors of brilliant flowers, and the smell of fresh cut grass. can be a great catalyst for creating vibrant and soulful art!

Do you know & understand yourself well enough Visual_155dpias an artists to know what inspires you??? Do you understand how your creative ‘brain’ works?   Everyone has a particular way that they communicate via their senses, there are 5 main conduits. 
1. VISUAL 2. AUDITORY 3.KINESTHETIC 4.OLOFACTORY & 5. DIGITAL.   For the purposes of this discussion, I will omit 4 & 5, because although it is possible, it is not very common that you  people who are wired this way in artist endeavours.  The main 3 groups people fall into is either Dance_like_no_one_is_watching_webvisual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Even then, people whose strongest communication style is auditory, usually tend to be within the performing arts arena as artists, so……..theatre, music, vocal performance, drama, etc.  You mostly find artists that work with paper, paint, fibres & fabrics are either of the visual or kinesthetic bent.  A Visual is readily apparent……driven by sight, hooked into the way things look.  Kinesthetic people love to feel.  They like textured things, & will often be found wearing natural fibres.  Their compositions often don’t make sense to a visual person who is often toooooo hooked into reality (the things they see) to understand the abstract beauty in a piece of work where elements don’t necessarily relate.  How are you wired?  If you can understand this, you can ‘stimulate’ yourself into an artistic frenzy by exposing yourself to what inspires you. 

Hey have you noticed how we all shop in the dark now????  I HATE it with a passion.  I went into a big up market Australian department store while we were away on holidays advertising their bi-annual stocktake sale on a Friday evening.  It was positively depressing.  Although I REALLY don’t like it, I am getting used to the ‘half’ lighting during the day, but even less lighting at night????  AND in the book department???? 

HELLLLLOOO????  PEOPLE need to SEEEEE to read!!!  Well, needless to say, I didn’t buy anything…………but what could I say???  How could I make any ‘legitimate’ complaint.  In the name of reducing ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ they are DRASTICALLY cutting their operating expenses by turning the lights out laughing all the way to the balance sheet!…….TURN THEM BACK ON!!  Don’t you know about the gazillions of studies that show that staff morale & productivity lowers (not to mention sales to people approaching ‘geriatrichood’ that can’t see the stock well enough to buy it) in direct proportion to the light they work in??? AND customers don’t like it~~~!!!

THERE………..I HAVE VENTED………….I CAN GET BACK TO BEING MY NORMAL NICE SELF~~!! LOL!! (says the ‘Guru, catching her breath after that outburst & breathing a bit easier now) 

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