On the sources and uses of inspiration
As a visual artist, people often ask me how I use my inspiration. I don’t know if this is a common experience but I frequently get flashes of inspiration just as I’m about to fall asleep, or in my dreams. When that happens, I know I’ll remember them when I wake up and they’ll be a starting point for a piece of work, some writing, or even solving a ‘how to’ problem such as styling photographs or arranging displays at the studio.
If I’m inspired to create something at a time when it’s practical - ideally during the day and while I’m at the studio- I try to at least make a start. That is the main thing for me, as I’m always fairly sure I can follow up and complete whatever I’ve started… though not always immediately. So I may end up with a number of pieces that are ‘work in progress’: the more the merrier. And of course, it may take a long while before any of those get finished. If the inspiration is truly flowing I do make the most of it and keep going regardless of time or competing priorities -not always a good idea but often what I choose to do!
I often find inspiration in the external world — through a film, something I see in the street or in a shop, a piece of art. Below here you can see some of the random things that have inspired me recently:
I also use my “magic cupboard”, particularly when I’m working on collages or prints: I have a collection of old cards, magazines, books, photographs, maps and various other ephemera that I’ve collected over the years. The two images that follow give you an idea of some of the stuff that I keep in the studio and is really precious to me.
What inspires you and where does your inspiration take you? I love helping people develop their creativity and teach a number of courses and workshops from my studio in South London. Take a look at what’s on offer and get in touch if you’d like to have a chat or have any questions. Thanks for taking the time to read!