Getting inspired; turning inspiration into art!

"Inspiration is hard to come by, you have to take it where you find it" - Bob Dylan


I wanted to write something to give you an insight into how I get inspired, what makes me excited and how this is then translated through paint on to canvas.

(visit my instagram to see this in action!)

Inspiration happens for me in many different ways. like all of us, I become inspired when I am not trying to be inspired. Seems logical right? The whole idea that when you want to be inspired you end up with the exact opposite...nothing, is a reality that I experience regularly.

As humans we cannot be inspired without the world around us. Therefore, if we are inspired by the world around us, our experiences and the people we meet shape how we see this world. This is where I believe ALL inspiration starts for me. I have however, tried to put some structure (I am writing a blog post after all...!) to these thought processes to allow you to see into my mind and hopefully, you can then view my paintings with a whole new light.

The two key areas for my current inspirations are:

  1. Self reflection; looking internally into my psychology

  2. Emotions; how they interact and change based on life experiences

1) Self Reflection

Have you ever felt confused?

Have you ever not known why your brain thinks the way it does?

Have you ever wanted to understand yourself better?

I can certainly say that I have felt ALL 3 of these things and many many more. This has led me to start a personal project of inspiration, that is not only interesting because psychology is pretty cool but, also interesting because I will learn more about myself.

I have started to look internally at myself and I am visualising all the different interactions which happen inside the human brain.

I am talking about struggling through those mental creative blocks. Visualising what that may look like if thoughts were not invisible but, actual physical things which you can see, hear, touch, smell.

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I have looked at the way one thought turns into another and another and this pattern is like a web which will never stop growing.

I have looked at how we string parts of stories together, making connections between events in order to compartmentalise them. To understand them in order to feel comfortable with a choice we have made or an event which has happened to us.

All of these things inspire me, they fascinate me, they enthral me. Our brains are astonishing creations that keep being fed by information and The more we look inside of ourselves the more we learn. The painting above is titled exactly that "inside of ourselves" and it is the first large depiction of how I see the inner workings of my brain. The three examples I have mentioned above are all incorporated in this piece. I cannot wait to see where my next painting takes me!!

2) Emotions

Emotions...we all have them. But, whether we like them or not, they influence our behaviour. I am fascinated with how emotions are effected by:

  • Life events.

  • Places/Holidays/Trips...somewhere other than home.

  • Interactions with other people

I discovered I have a heightened perception of my emotions when something happens/I go to a new place and experience culture/have a conversation with someone which forces an emotional response. I have found that these strong emotions made me feel like screaming, laughing, crying etc (not at the same time obviously) and that I have always wanted to express these emotions in a positive and productive way. So...yep you guessed it...I started to express these emotions through movements, colour and physical texture on a canvas. With each of these things relating me back to that exact emotion felt during the life event/trip/interactions.

How I capture emotions in the moment

  • Be fully overtaken by whatever experience I am having

  • Take a record; a photo, lists, brainstorm, voice name it I have tried it.

  • Take this back to my studio and start sketching out ideas for what the emotion looks like for me (aka my living room...someone help a girl out and sponsor me *wink* *wink*)

This picture was taken at the top of one of my favourite hikes ever Squamish, Canada. (Click this link to find out more). I chose this photo because it is a perfect example of a life experience which triggered some intense emotions for me. Long story short I was trying to work through a personal dilemma. When I reached the top of this mountain and looked out over the huge expansive landscape below I felt fulfilled, I felt like I was finally able to make that decision. The experience of contentment that I was able to be confident that my choice was neither right nor wrong overcame by entire body. That was something I had not experienced before. That exhilarating adrenaline I felt when I had come to a concrete decision was believe it or not the first time in my life. I channelled this into my notepad, took 100's of photos (including this one taken by a lovely stranger) and tried to absorb every last drop of that feeling.

This moment inspired one of my first large paintings titled "Calm Understanding" and it is still one of my favourite paintings to date.

Calm Understanding

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We inspire me, you inspire me, life inspires me

For more inspiration why not check out this post by the Guardian which shows how different creatives get inspired.

Like what you see?

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Address: 13 Sheen Lane, London