Inspirations & Musings
As a maker and artist, sometimes I feel pressure to constantly produce. Sometimes I absorb that pressure and feel my creative inspirations pulsing. Other times, I feel stuck in the mud. Finding inspiration, without mimicking or allowing oneself to be overly influenced in the day and age of imagery overload is a tricky little line. I am cautious in what I look at, and when I look. In moments when I feel creatively stuck, I avoid searching for aesthetic influence. Instead, I reach through my archives, or pick up a book. Or, in the rare instance that I chose to search through imagery online, I like to look through unrelated areas. If I am looking for an idea for home decor, I will not look at other metal artists. That's a big no no for me. Instead, I might look at vintage make up advertisements, or pick up a book and read a chapter. Words, Colors, Shapes all bring inspiration!
Aesthetics are easily mimicked and mocked, but the lack of content can often shine through when this occurs. As a maker, I chose to put out only what reflects the thoughts and ideas swirling through my brain.
A concept that has given me tons of inspiration for the past few years is the idea of a multi-verse. Portals, conceptual modes of travel, the potential of multiple versions of yourself existing in many realities at once. This stems from an early interest in dreams and lucid dreaming. Which, I think ultimately stemmed from experiences with hypnotism as a young child. It's a concept full of endless potential!
When I approach an idea, I occasionally put myself in another "realm". Other points in time, other places, other realities. How can I take this airy, dreamy conceptual notion of time and apply it to self care? How can I create decor that is new age, vintage, timeless, and modern? Can I? Do I want to?
I recently went through my archives as a conceptual artist, and the threads running through them were fascinating to me. One of my earliest works still feels potent and current. Before I even felt confident to verbalize my ideas, I was working in exploring potential future selves. Realities steeped in past, present and future. For instance, "1914 Parklane Road", a photo series I collaborated on with my sister was taken in my grandmother's home. I personified my fears of a future self in reaction to seeing the dissatisfaction of my maternal influences in conjunction with my sprouting bad habits. A domesticated feminine pent up tension only released by bottle. I've shared one photo from the series, below.
Lately, I am feeling a refined sense of purpose. Many of my personally specific concepts have been investigated, played with and reinterpreted. I've undergone transformation, and I'm beginning to feel my artistic work fueled by something greater than myself. In today's uncertainty, amidst all of the bull shit, all over the sensory over load and clutter, there seems to be a sense of softness and understanding sprouting within my practice. A shift back to seeking simplicity and mutual understanding. Rejecting societal projections, and taking responsibility for perceptions.
I've become a bit softer with myself. I work hard, but I know there are moments when I need to just let go of this sense of urgency. Social media is damaging to the psyche, and while at this point in time it seems necessary for self-employed individuals and small businesses, it's still damaging. I can't hold on to feelings if my content wasn't properly timed, well liked, or whatever the fuck it should have been. I've been keeping my phone off, saying no to it. I don't want to constant absorption of information. Social Media affects how and what people create by providing a perpetual audience for consumption An audience of who? Sometimes, I don't even know.
I'm really trying to let go. Let go of all of the things that I get hung up on. Somedays I need to listen when my brain says: I don't care if Susan or Bob like what I am doing, someone else will. I didn't make this for them, I made it for the people who need it. The people who need reminders to take more time with themselves or the ones who are seeking a more present existence. For others who might sometimes be off in the clouds day dreaming (like me) instead of competing against other people for something no one even wants.
Life is weird. Change Happens. Influence can be heavy and unseen. Sitting with ideas, breaking them down, verbalizing intentions, and taking responsibility for the energy you emit is one way to keep your ideas true, real, and potent.