So, after years and years of working and learning and growing, I was asked the other day, where does my inspiration come from? Surely, by now, it should have 'dried up'.... what an interesting concept. That someone would feel inspiration 'dries up'. Does it? How can it? Generally we gain 'information' from our daily lives, everything we are and have, comes from what inspires us.
Creativity inspires me, and in turn, it is its own inspiration and reward. Every day I have at least 10 ideas, which I [hopefully] get to put in my sketchbook. Some of them might not see the light of day (especially if I don't get to write them down). Inspiration may not just be the 'idea'. It might be a picture, a word, a sound, a book, a corner shop, a neighbour's dog (actually that one needs a whole series of books written!).
I have books and books of ideas written down. I revisit those books and more often than not, something comes out of them. Ideas shouldn't be thrown away - they are based on what inspires us. Many of these ideas, once revisited, lead to new ideas, so that 'well' just isn't going to dry up any time soon.
What I find 'un-inspires' me, would be doing things that are contrary to what I want to achieve in my life and with my creativity. With art, you have to keep on going, keep inspired, keep drawing, and 'exercising your imagination'. I prefer to see imagination and creativity, less like a well, and more like space. As John Muir said "the power of imagination makes us infinite". Creativity like everything else, needs to be practiced, repeated, and developed. People can't tell you what to be inspired by, and often times we take other peoples creativity as a gift - a miracle. It isn't really - it's developing a skill and exercising it every day. This way, how can it dry up?
Rainy days are wonderful for checking out the old visual diaries for inspiration, running through the hundreds of reference images you've saved, or watching a movie that my have even one inspiring character, or scene in it. Recently, I spent a day messing around with different painting mediums, and out of that, a few new ideas came. After that I felt invigorated and inspired. Listening to creative people talking about their passion, their art or their lives, inspires me - visit the TED site, and you'll find thousands of creative discussions.
The main thing I believe, is to treat your creativity as a major skill, one you expand on, practice and keep on with. Dried up? Not likely!
Designing Business cards for your own business should be easy - especially since that's 'what you do', however I found the process to be amazingly indecisive! Or should I say, I was indecisive - three quotes, no I got 8, 3 designs, no I had hundreds of little variations - from shape to colour to font to card size etc. I'm sure every designer faces this.
If I had to write a rationale for why I chose the colours and style, I'd have to say, personal choice. The colours are friendly and professional ('inviting' if you will). The fonts are very 'me' - unfrilly, to the point and easy to read/scan). This is the same with all the forms/shapes I've chosen for the card, as well as my own branding style.
The icons I've chosen sum me up as a designer | illustrator pretty well. Often we're asked to do these exercises about summing ourselves or our business up in five phrases. Well, my phrases are my icons:
ability to communicate
and most importantly designer and illustrator
So, they've arrived and they are great. The business cards are a fairly thick 380 - 410 gsm stock recycled paper with a thickness which is quite nice. Non-reflective, no celloglaze, just wonderfully refreshingly simple!
Perhaps for the next set I can go crazy with the die-cut look (although I love rounded corners) but for this set, they're perfect!
So to 'Jamuary'. This is the month of 'getting it all together', goal setting, getting onto the networking to survive thing, and of course, doing what I love - art and design.
This month, I've yet to 'finalize' goals, but luckily the Universe has set me deadlines for the month, that (whether I like it or not) must be met. Example, all assignments done and dusted - why? because I finish my Diploma of Commercial Arts in 2 weeks time. So, easy one there. I also have my personal branding and printing to get finished - no soft deadline there. Business cards ordered (with matching 'snazzy' pen, thanks to vistaprint - of course, being a designer, it took me ages to decide on printers, papers, sizes etc. Finally I went with a lovely recycled white stock of a fairly good thickness. Matte of course.
Illustrations daily - my sketchbook for January is (again) a mixed bag of ideas, doodles, complete illustrations and coffee stains. The only goal I've set here is to have at least 2 pages a day of doodles, the rest follows on from there - inspiration comes easier when the mind is completely empty of thoughts and concepts, so I keep them down on paper. I'm pretty forgetful too, so they're good to have down and concepted. Often I use a mindmap to come up with the 'what next' - i.e. nice idea, keep that, but what to do with it... for example, my Lucky Circle Noodle Bar concept. I have a KIDZ ideas too....aaah what a Jambouree!!!
I have also started putting my icons and symbol work on Behance for critique, which is a big step. This is such an open forum.
And to other things - I've decided to spend the month working on my Vector skills - it's amazing how, with a little time and effort, it's starting to come together - the main thing I have now, is interpreting my illustrations into vector graphics - at the moment, I'm still finding my feet.
Anyway, internships underway, decisions about 'to learn or not to learn' webcoding are all underway and plans have been made. Mind you things change all the time, so watch this space!
Happy New Year! With 2012 ending well, I'm shouting from the mountain tops - it's 2013 everybody! This year feels set for optimism and change. My favorite subjects, next to art and design.
I'd spent the final weeks of last year working on my website and began a professional portfolio on Behance which has helped to raise my profile. For me the main objective of having a presence on these other sites is getting myself out in the market place, meeting fellow designers and gaining inspiration wherever I can.
Generally, I feel inspired most of the time. I have more ideas than time, so 2013 is going to be about goal setting and prioritizing As scary as it sounds, I feel it's the only way to get things done.... as an artist I feel focused but every now and then, I get caught out by the 'sparkly bits on the periphery' and don't get to 'that thing', because I started looking at 'that other thing', and completely losing my intention.
So for me, as a Designer and Illustrator, I intend to continue to build my professional portfolio and client base. I intend to set my goals, which even now - on the 3rd of Jan - are still fermenting. I intend to remove myself from e-subscriptions and e-lists that are distracting, unfocused and what I call the "peripheral sparkly bits" - keeping me away from what I really need to be doing.
This year is also going to be about exploration - I started with my illustration and didn't get to do as much as I'd hoped, so this year... an hour a day will be devoted to complete illustration. At the moment, I doodle a few hours a day, but now I think I need to formalize these doodles.... get them working for me ;D
So, wishing you all the time, the effort and optimism for 2013!
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Tanya is a traditional and digital artist, living in Brisbane and inspired by all that is 'Art'.