What's your inspiration?

crabpoolsketchWhew!  What a busy couple of weeks this has been.  I wish I could say that more of it was art related but my day job and other responsibilities have gotten in the way more than I like lately.  That kind of stuff just wears me out.  Then when I sit down with my arts, I am tired and uninspired.  Sometimes, that can bring your art to a complete hault.  They call it writer’s block if you’re a writer.  I’m not too sure if they call it sketcher’s block or not, but it’s the same thing.  You know you want to draw, but you look around and can’t see anything you think is worth drawing.  That was the point of the Every Day Matters challenge.  Danny Gregory began drawing as a means to relieve some of the daily stress of all the bad things happening in his life.  Consequently, he found that there were a whole lot more important things than worry and strife.  Things like love and happiness that he was able to discover just by noticing the beauty around him.

HydrationbreakI was disappointed from my bike trip the other week because when I was in this beautiful area of Arkansas, it was too hot to do anything at all outside for very long.  So I took some pictures to use as references later.  But I really wanted to paint en plein air, or sketch live.  And so lethargy set in.  I couldn’t do what I wanted to do so I have kind of been sulking.  I have been thinking that there was nothing worth drawing around my house.  Man am I spoiled!

victrolaThen, I saw this lovely post by Jeanette Jobson over at Illustrated Life.  She posted a litany of sorts that I’m stealing I’m going to use in my daily life:

“There is nothing I cannot draw. There are things that don’t inspire me or interest me, but that doesn’t mean I am unable to draw them.

I learn something when I try a subject that I don’t usually enjoy drawing. I learn that its not as difficult as I anticipated and that drawing is simply drawing, whether a mountain or a person or a flower.

Don’t tell anyone this part, ok? Sometimes I actually enjoy the process of drawing something outside my comfort level.”

That quickly snapped me back into the right mindset.  There are lessons to be learned and New things to be experienced by doing things outside your box.  I could have been following the example of Julie Oakley and drawn all of the family members that I was trapped in the vacation dwelling with.  That would have been fantastic figure drawing practice.  I sulked myself out of a great learning experience.  Well after having read that post, we went for coffee about town to this nice little coffeeshop/museum.  While my beautiful young bride and Girl2 were enjoying a snack and a beverage, I whipped out my handy dandy little sketchbook and proceeded to wander the museum where I might have just talked my way into volunteering once a week.

crabinatreeThen on Saturday, the girls and I loaded up and went in to “The City” with the specific purpose of buying hermit crabs.  I have been pressing my lovely wife to let me have that we needed these for the children for several months now.  Finally, after seeing Girl2’s reaction to them in Hot Springs, AR, my bride agreed that we needed them.  So we loaded up and went to town.  Just under $200 US later, we have a hermit crab paradise.

crabsketchThis is the kind of thing that truly inspires me.  Girl2 squeals every time we talk about them.  Every time she walks through the room, she has to run over and see what they’re doing, even though they are nocturnal and don’t move hardly at all during the day.  Watching their antics for hours on end has kept us occupied as a family to the extent that we haven’t seen a full episode of Spongebob since we got them.  I’m planning a huge luxury resort for these critters which I will of course share with you as I go along.  Just don’t tell my wife.

If you have any tips or stories on what inspires you, or how you stay motivated, please feel free to share them in the comments section!