That title though, right?! I promise it’s going somewhere…
I’ve had some awesome questions sliding into my DMs… questions like:
“How do you get inspired?”
“Do you have to wait until creativity strikes?”
“How can you create when you’re blocked?”
“Do you create when you’re having an artist block?”
All of these things are SUCH good questions–and some that I deal with on a daily basis ever since I started owning that I was an artist.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that artist inspiration is like The Bachelorette …
(and since Rachel Lindsay’s season was the most recent I’ve watched, it’s a pretty good starting point since now she and Bryan Abasolo are MARRIED AHHHH!)…
GET THIS BACHELORETTE PARTY STARTED!
THE FIRST ROSE CEREMONY
You’re about to meet 29 men at the VERY FIRST ROSE CEREMONY!
You’re convinced you may be meeting the man you’re going to marry, and each one has ONE IMPRESSION—the first impression—to let you know he’s the one.
Inspiration for art is kinda like that–if you were in my head, it’s like my internet browser–there’s 25 tabs open, a few windows running in the background, and then a few pop-ups that just won’t get it. Each source of inspiration is like a different contestant on the bachelorette.
Here’s how this works in my head:
First, I’m a mom with three kids first and foremost.
My hottie hubby and our little circus is my whole life, so do I get inspired? ABSOLUTELY!
You can find random drawings and scribbles of mine in books around the house, on napkins, or on the corners of envelopes because I get an idea I don’t want to forget.
Inspiration strikes when I’m reading a book and envisioning a place I’d long to see (real or imaginary).
Inspiration strikes when I’m on a walk with my children, seeing the leaves fall from the trees or a flower bloom, hearing a bird chirp, seeing the clouds venture across the sky.
Inspiration even strikes when we’re playing pretend–princes and princesses, brides, that snarky dragon that breathes fire all over the place, the superheroes that SAVE THE DAY all serve as inspiration in some way for my art.
Are all of my ideas winners? Let me answer that question with a question: Are all the Bachelorette contestants winners? BUT my point is, there are many different ways to be inspired just like many Bachelorette contestants.
THE FIRST DATES
For me at least, I don’t have unlimited time to sit in my studio and “wait for creativity to strike.”
I have to notice it in the moment, and if I haven’t, I still GET to create something.
Maybe it will be a dud (like some of those dates are y’all OMG)…
BUT if I sit around and WAIT to be absolutely utterly INSPIRED to paint something, it may never happen because inevitably, something (typically a child) or other will come up and say “Hey, can I steal you for a second?”
which really sounds like “MOM I NEED YOU TO WIPE ME!” or “MOM CAN I HAVE ANOTHER SNACK NOW?” Mom life, heyooooo…
THE TWO ON ONES
Those two on one dates y’all, if you know you know.
One person stays, one person leaves, and it’s like a Shakespearean battle of wits to see who gets to remain on The Bachelorette—and that’s saying something because Shakespeare could be snarky.
How can I create when I’m blocked you ask? It’s kind of like that.
I think of two things that have been on my mind for a while–maybe a landscape, maybe a figure, maybe a quote or pattern, and I just START.
Like I said about those first dates, one of them is going to start to show more promise than the other.
If I take some time leaning into the promise, I know that something beautiful will come from it.
Are you dealing with artist block? JUST START PAINTING, DRAWING, WRITING.
Even if it’s terrible–you can always redo it. Like on those two on one dates, you can always send both of them home!
THE FINAL ROSE CEREMONY
Imagine: You’re the Bachelorette and you’ve made it.
You’re finally at the last rose ceremony and you get to give the rose to that lucky guy, and since he gets to propose to YOU, you know he really is the lucky one, AM I RIGHT??!
The final stages of my own inspiration process are kind of like that! After I’ve whittled down my ideas, chosen the ones I love, I’ve started and created, I get to finally grow an idea into its own happily ever after.
Here’s the thing, JUST LIKE THE AFTERMATH OF THE BACHELORETTE does every act of inspiration grow into its own happily ever after? No, BUT through the inspiration process I’ve tried lots of different things, made lots of mistakes, and learned a lot about myself, my style, and my artwork along the way. Inspiration for me is less about making something perfect and more about creating something, and learning more, and growing along the way. And sometimes, just sometimes, you get a Ryan Sutter or a Bryan Abasolo and it just works.
[side note: Gosh, I feel like the connections between the Bachelorette and inspiration are endless, so I may have to revisit this in the future.]
Like on The Bachelorette, some contestants zoom to the front of the leaderboard with that first impression (ahem, RACHEL definitely did on Nick’s season and I love her so much for it),
and some are quietly waiting to be discovered.
Either way, they’re there and ready for action.
In that same way, some sources of inspiration jump right to top of mind, while others lie in wait for us to really see and make a move.
So, how do I get inspired to paint?
I can honestly say through living my life and seeing the beauty all around me.
Want more inspiration? Join the Instagram party!
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Get inspired in your prayer life. Check out this post here.