While I like to ‘borrow’ ideas from other artists to get my juices flowing, I’m also inspired by books; books about creativity, inspiration, ideas, just about any book to do with art and art-making, although I am very selective. Ask my husband, I have hundreds! Several years ago I read a really great book by Rice Freeman-Zachery. In her book, ‘Living the Creative Life: ideas and inspirations from working artists,’ She writes that there are two types of inspiration, primary and secondary. Whether you agree with this or not, it’s a great way to think about inspiration.
Rice writes (try saying that 10 times in a row... sorry Rice) that Primary Inspirations are drawn from: our experiences in nature; our interactions and relationships with people; things we see and hear in the real world, and our dreams. Secondary Inspirations are the ideas we get when we look at someone else’s artworks, songs or poem, or any other work. I am a secondary inspiration seeker, (how’s that for a label?).
“There is nothing wrong with taking inspirations from other artists, either literary or visual...with taking inspiration anywhere you can find it,” (2007, p. 47).
(Pssst... sorry about the referencing, but I learnt this at University... It was the expected and done thing to do... and it helps to know your sources... after all, someone might just want to check out where I got my info from!).
And thank you Rice! I do feel so much better now. I thought I had to be inspired by nature to make art... tramp about the fields, hike tall mountains (in a single bound?); squelch, slip, slop and slosh through mushy creeks; jog down through rows of vineyards, (gotta say, the cellar door is great); sniff my way through flower beds packed with buzzing bees (ouch!); roll down high hills, (which is fun by the way); and, slide down low valleys (on waxed cardboard of course, now that was fun!); all of which I adore, but presently don’t inspire me to create... at least not right now. I’d like to make art about these things one day, maybe one day soon, but don’t feel compelled to do so... I have to write tho', remembering this day does reach into my very core and tickle my creative urges... The Yarra Valley is a stunningly beautiful place... breathtakingly so...