Monday, February 10, 2014

Things that inspire- what does that mean to you?

What inspires you? I am often asked that question. The " normal" response would be nature, the people around me and my life situations and those things are all true, but there is also something that keeps me going, that keeps me excited to keep doing it again. There is something that is stirred deep inside that makes creating art so satisfying.  It's more than the painting itself, the paint to paper is only a small part of the magic.

I put together a few questions that I think might help you zero in on what inspires you and what takes your inspiration away.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself. There are no right or wrong answers.
1. Is it the planning or the finishing of a piece that is most exciting?
2. What makes you happier, giving something away to a grateful receiver, selling something or doing something for yourself ?
3. What excites you to action, a scene, a color, the lighting, a subject, make a short list of things that have excited you into creating art in the past few months.
4. What things steal your groove, zap your creative energy and make you feel defeated?
5. What areas of your art leave you frustrated and feeling inadequate?

Here are some of my thought about myself.

1. I love the planning or designing phase of art. My mind has so many ideas that for me it's not coming up with a project that is challenging but the execution and completion that is most challenging. 

2. it is the excitement of seeing the face of a client when they buy a piece of my work that thrills them. It is a phone call of thanks from a card I have sent someone or the excitement on the face of my granddaughters when they try on a skirt I have sewn them. So my happiness comes from sharing artwork. Whether that is posting online and reading comments, sending art cards, teaching or exhibiting. For me art is best when shared. When I sell a piece I get a feeling of worth and I feel that my art is valued. When I share my art for art sake I feel blessed and satisfied that I am sharing a gift only I can give.

3. I love color and value! I love extreme lighting that allows for a glow. The subject is secondary, it's capturing something special. I also love to tell a story, the story can be the best part of art for me. For myself I know I also get great joy in having something published and seeing my hard work in print. It can be a painting in a magazine or book or It is handling and feeling the fabric I designed on paper come to life as fabric. It's the excitement of sharing my story with others.

4. For myself I think social media can do two things, it can inspire or create anxiety. I love to see what other artists are doing and creating but with that said I can easily be overwhelmed and start to compare myself and my accomplishments with other artists which is only defeating and feeds that negative voice I fight to keep quiet. I also find that being too isolated can make me unproductive. Keeping a balance of art and work and other outside activities helps me stay energized. I also believe in eating well and pampering myself by indulging in good things for me instead of bad.

5. Frustration comes from over committing and a lack of production. I needn't I make the time to make the art. Filling my day with the sand leaves no room in my day for the big rocks of production. 

So take a minute and ask yourself what is it that lights your creative fire and identify the things that are counterproductive. When we take time to identify the things that make us excited and the things that take away our muse we can better equip ourselves with the tools to combat those dry periods in our life.I would love to hear from you! What is it that makes you excited to do your art? I want to know!




Beena Singhal said...

Thanks for sharing all those things about yourself, and your creative processes. I think for me, particularly today when I feel the Hand of God so strongly, I can see the spiritual aspects to all those things. For instance, in 4. and 5.; God sort of takes care of that for me. I stopped comparing myself and my work to other artists because my faith has left me secure in knowing that there is something unique about whatever I do, meant only for me to contribute. I also no longer stress about having the time to create. I know that I'm on His time, and in whatever way He can best use me and all my abilities as a person....that will be what comes about. Creativity can come into play in so many aspects of life, and sometimes it is refreshing to enjoy those other areas rather than feel like I have to do a painting in order to be productive. Art is a tree with many branches, and I have learned to climb many. I have also lost the drive to sell my work or compete simply on the basis of validation. I don't need money or awards to prove to myself that God has given me an incredible gift. However, if I can use my art to raise money for a good cause, I'm all in. Did some cakes a while back that went to a church auction with proceeds going to a food bank. I love doing stuff like that! I guess you could say I had to grow spiritually, in order to grow as an artist and lose the pressures and any insecurities. And the only reason I'm telling you, is because I know you are also a person of faith. :)

Helen Percy Lystra said...

Okay, this is a very thoughtful blog and I need to come back and read it when I have more time. I will be back!

Helen Percy Lystra said...

I'm back. Great questions and perfect timing for me. I'm transitioning from paint to fabric. You remind me that I don't need to give up painting to move back to fabric. I'm going to think more about the questions and where I am.

Desiree Habicht said...

Thank you for your comment Beena, I also truly believe my art is a gift to give away and make a living from, glad you are appreciating yours too.

Helen Percy Lystra- how exciting! You can do both! What are you doing in fabric, I am dying to know!

Joan T said...

Desiree, I love hearing your thought process. With your work in watercolors and fabric you have the luck to see your inspirations come to light in several different ways. I get inspired by nature, by people, by people's enjoyment of what they are doing, by memories and chance encounters, by lighting, by color, and so many other factors. It changes constantly...which is good. The most exciting thing about doing my art is hearing that some other person found something in it that delights them or causes a reaction in them...if they buy the piece that is an added plus!

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

What lights my fire to sketch or paint is when I see what you are doing. Can't seem to get to that level yet but I am working on it.

Desiree Habicht said...

Hi Joan and Helen, loved coming back to read the comments and hear your thoughts. The mind of an artist is an amazing thing!

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