Wednesday 10th June 2015Summer Project Inspiration
The Spring rains are over, the flowers are blooming and the summer sun has finally come at last! Summer is one of the most beautiful times of the year and can be one of the most inspiring seasons of all (sorry, Southern Hemisphere! Check out our Winter project inspiration posts instead). After incubating ideas throughout the Winter and cultivating them during Spring, they can finally leap forth during Summer and truly come into their own.
Beyond the pure enjoyment that comes from being able to get outside and enjoy life, new experiences often stimulate new creative ideas, as many artists know. What might not be immediately apparent is that it's possible to use the seasons themselves as both project inspiration and integral parts of your projects themselves. Think about the characteristics of the season in the context of your chosen medium. If you typically paint watercolours, experiment with how the medium changes when painting in bright, direct sunlight - you may discover a new dry brush technique, or the fact that the paint dries faster may change the way you work. It might not be the best tactic for use when painting a still life, but if you're painting abstracts you may stumble onto something incredible.
If painting isn't your style, there are still plenty of ways to integrate Summer into your artistic practice. Summer is a boon for photographers of all types, but none more so than street photography, as the outside world suddenly seems alive with human activity. Even if you've never got into the style before, it's never too late to give it a shot (sorry, couldn't resist!). A fast prime lens can be had relatively cheaply (like the Nikon 50mm, which is usually under $100), and just go out and see what happens! Even if you don't live in a big city, there's usually something interesting enough going on.
No matter what medium you love, the goal is still the same. Get yourself out there, try something new, use Summer as a chance to re-examine your practice and your routine, shake things up and reinvigorate your creativity! Even if you don't get some incredible new style out of it, at least you'll be sure to have enjoyed your Summer trying.
Posted on June 10th 2015 on 03:22pm
Wednesday 11th June 2014Summer Art Inspiration
If there's one thing I've learned over the course of my artistic career, it's that art doesn't happen in a vacuum. That's not to say that art can't happen in space - Commander Hadfield's rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity on the International Space Station leaps to mind - but rather that the kind of ideas and inspiration that drive your creativity and artistic thinking don't happen in a vacuum. In order to function at your full creative potential, you need a great deal of new input, whether it's new ideas that you've gotten from casual conversations with friends or a new exhibit that inspired you to test out some new techniques or anything in between. Exposure to the world is what makes us want to create.
The winter months are perfect for studio time (although they can be just as creatively inspiring in and of themselves, with the right mindset), as the cold weather tends to keep us all indoors. Summer, however, tends to have the opposite effect in the artistically inclined, and both beautiful bright sunshine and powerful dark thunderstorms can be powerful inspirations. The most important thing about summer, though, is that it gets us back out into the world, coming into contact with life and society in a way that tends not to happen as much in the winter. When the entire world seems wrapped in scarves and gloves, freezing and covered in slush, it seems to evoke a sense of internalization and introspection. Summer, of course, is a time for showing skin to the sky and the suddenly the world is open and extroverted and curious again.
If you find yourself with a creative block sometime in the next few months (sorry to any readers who are in the southern hemisphere, about to enter the dead of winter), take the time to go outside and do something you wouldn't normally do. Summer basically begs you to enjoy it, so get out of the studio and go expand your horizons in the world. You might be amazed at the kind of creative boosts a simple stroll can have, whether for simply relaxing you and allowing you to refocus on the project at hand or because you see or do something new and inspiring to you.
Go out there - live life, and the art will follow. Sorry digital artists, this means you too! Pry yourself away from the screen and get some sunshine!
Posted on June 11th 2014 on 03:05pm