Friday, January 30, 2009

Praying to the Art Gods

I'm not a religious person but when I was in Kamakura, Japan, this past November I couldn't resist saying a little prayer at the art shrine. I've recently felt like I need some devine intervention to help me get out of my no-inspiration funk. Maybe it's the winter blues or the too long winter break I took, or the darkly looming tax season, but something's gotta give. So although I am not a big fan of sketching and planning out my paintings I think it's time I tried. Because sitting in front of a canvas and expecting something to form isn't working at the moment. Maybe I should make a little art shrine in my apartment?

What do you do to get inspired?


sarah said...

Get out of your zone. Go to the Asian supermarket (which might not be out of your zone ;) go to the fabric store, look through a magazine from the 80s, go to clothes store you would never set foot into normally and try something on. Take a walk and actually look at things. Flickr. Visit every "links i love" on your favorite blog. when all else fails. ANAGRAMS!

sqrl said...

Oh my, this is a hard one. I agree with what Sarah says about getting out of your zone.

Also I think for me, it usually comes to me while I'm working. So what I do when I'm having a lull is try to get to those things I've been putting off. Unfinished projects, mending (which I hate doing),organizing my fabrics (this helps a lot)cleaning out my storage shelves. Usually I come across something like lights a little spark of inspiration.

And again same as Sarah I visit blogs and their links.

rutherford said...

help a child w/ an art project, collaborate w/ someone, go to a museum, switch mediums, organize photos or put together a scrap book of inspirational images, go to a thrift store or flea market...though the shrine sounds cool too - good luck!

Chen Reichert said...

You girls awesome! if there is such a thing.. I might be over inspired soon!

Jen said...

I think that doing things that seem to be non-creative like organizing my art materials is really useful. I'll usually find something at the bottom of a box that I forgot about that sparks an idea. Also, if I'm really stuck on a piece, I'll sometimes do something radical to it like turn it upside down and work on it that way, or paint over it entirely or use a color I normally wouldn't use or something. Anything for a change of perspective.

I'm trying two new ideas for inspiration this year- one is to make a big list of words/ideas that I find interesting that I want to explore in my art. The other is keeping a blog of other sites/artists that I love to look at and am inspired by. (

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I need help with this, also, but I have become a little addicted to flickr & taking in all of the intense creative talent that abounds there. I probably don't need to tell you this, but I also find it helpful to remind myself to stay open minded to what types of things can be inspiring- sometimes stuff that I wouldn't work with myself, but can maybe reinterpret: a zipper, the color of a dog's fur, the texture on a tree trunk, etc.

MaryJo Rosania said...

I look at old sketchbooks...flip through the books on my book shelf that I bought in a fit of inspiration to remember what that felt like.
Sketching or writing also helps.
Or, make some tea, sit in your studio and put some music on...something will come.

Jennifer said...

I was once lucky enough to have one of my necklaces worn by Sue Serio (Fox TV's morning meteorologist). To keep myself challenged in terms of jewelry making, I often try to think about what I'd make for different newscasters, public speakers, talk show hosts, celebrities, politicians, etc. etc. as I flip through all of the channels on my cable box. I even do this with different historical periods. I'd love to be given the challenge of having to come up with accessories for something like a period-piece play. It might never happen, but it's fun to try to come up with designs on the spot.