Image supplied by my daughter, Alexandra, age 8, NYC.
I have a habit of going to a dictionary to note how “they” classify or define everyday words. Words we use independently with our own self-defined thoughts surrounding that word. (By the way, I met “they” once…wasn’t very impressed). So, I recently looked up “artist.” This is what I came up with:
~”A person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination”
~”A person skilled in some task or occupation”
Conclusion – We are all artists. Some of us just stop calling ourselves artists after the third grade.
I’ve received some very positive feedback regarding the “inspiration” question. Continuing on this theme, I’ve devised three questions below that I hope yield the same feedback.
- When did you first discover your creative talents?
- For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold.
- Who are your favorite artists?
Similar to the last query, I’ll post answers with an image of the artist’s work. Below is the last round of “inspiration” essays…for now…
Kalliope Amorphous, New York City, NY
“Much of my self-portrait work is driven by themes of isolation, alienation, death and the deconstruction of the personality. Because of this, it is first a sense of neccessity to externalize and visually represent these emotions that is the inspiration. There are certain archetypes that reflect these states, and I tend to gravitate toward them. For example, my Resurrecting Ophelia series was created because I wanted to visually explore ideas of isolation, grief and the symbology of water.”
There is a quote by my beloved Artaud which I often refer to when considering the idea of inspiration:
“No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.” –Antonin Artaud”
Artist: Kalliope Amorphous
Title: Swept, Self Portrait
Medium: C-Print, 16″x20″
Ron Laboray, St. Louis, IL
“One of the best aspect about making art today is the loss of a master narrative. There is a freedom to create and sustain any discourse you wish, in any method or form you desire. I choose to make works that combine a certain level of conceptual rigor, a light hearted humor, andthe beauty of a well crafted object. Formally, I am interested in the
visual spacial dynamics of the two dimensional surface and the ability for more than one representational system to communally cohabit a picture plane. The paintings oscillate between concepts in abstract mapping, and photographic representation. Abstraction or photographic representation are not placed in opposition to each other, but are a matter of distance, related through actual, perceptual, and procedural distances. The paintings, as historical document, attempt to archive common cultural effect. Popular culture disseminates information that leads us to believe places in our world like Metropolis and Gotham are the homes of super heroes. Many locations enjoy a simultaneous existence in both fiction and reality. Beliefs generated by invented identities influence our perception of the real. Imagined identity can also be imposed on place through reoccurring phenomena like the Super Bowl, World Fairs, or a papal visit. These events, though short lived and migrant, create an atmosphere of close connection and in this, the chosen locations will share in the legacy and identity that is lent through hosting these various spectacles. History is shaped through these matters of influence.
The location of history is another area of interest, since popular culture has always distilled beliefs, desires, and life lessons. For example, we know history is told through images and objects a civilization produces. My objects reflect the time they were made by embracing both the synthetic materials and digital data banks that have had a recent emergence. These materials are then, from our time and metaphorical of our shared experience, embracing the validity of the art object as historical document or anthropological artifact.”
Artist: Ron Laboray
Title: South Park
Medium: Auto enamels and surfboard resin on aluminum, 4’x5′
Nicole Wilson, New York City, NY
“I have always been very visually oriented in the world. I remember as a small child my teacher informed my parents that I was spending “too much time staring out the classroom windows and too little time focusing on the lesson plan”. Who knew it would later dictate one of the chief passions of my life and would ultimately be a career choice. For me everything from other artists work, watching a terrific play, hearing a moving piece of music, reading an arresting article, or anything I find arousing can serve as inspiration for a piece. I often translate an idea through my own life experiences growing up.
As you can see in many of my paintings, I draw a lot of inspiration from children and childhood. I have to thank my parents for giving me such a wonderful life as a young person, and so it is often when I am deciding what to paint next that I will reflect on a happy moment from this time. To me, childhood means a time of freedom, truth, and being directly in touch with the immediacy of life and the moment. But most of the time I harness the flakes of the world I am surrounded by or even some occasions paint the serene place I wish I could be and pass it through my unique lens.”
Artist: Nicole Wilson
Title: Lost No. 2
Medium: Oil on canvas, 30″x30″
Sabin Aell, Denver, CO
What inspires me and my work is life and the daily mesmerizing beauty which is revealed in front of my very eyes, often through apparently insignificant details. I find inspiration in feelings caused by circumstances I have never been. I feel inspired by emotions, imperfection, smells, colors, material, texture of aged surfaces and the talents of other people. The moment something is created is a thrill and I think the motivation behind everything I do.”
Artist: Sabin Aell
Title: Departure to Wonderland
Medium: Installation-Acrylic on discarded billboard, 50 year old telephone wire, black tape hanging rail system.
Mark Acetelli, Pasadena, CA
“Trying to create a painting that is better than the last one. Constant refinement of an idea or feeling, untill I’m somewhat satisfied. And the act of pure expressionism from an emotion that must come out and see the light of day.”
Artist: Mark Acetelli
Medium: Oil, wax on canvas, 54” x 54”
Meg Madison, Los Angeles, CA
“Rightsizing Narrative is a project that grew out of my investigation of memory, and the amazement of discovering what was an actual memory, and what was a memory of viewing snapshots or home movies of an earlier time. I began this project by returning to childhood places to take photographs utilizing the methodology of seventies black and white street photography to create a sense of the veracity of the real moment. Always the intent is on posing the question of what is authentic, pointing out the confusion between this “real moment” and real life.”
Artist: Meg Madison
Title: Sister Imelda (named for story by Edna Obrien)
Medium: Silver Gelatin Lightjet, 20″ x 45″
Charlotte Padgham, London
“My interest in found and organic materials and the concept of creating work that changes naturally or through intervention presents interesting questions regarding longevity and quality as well as the viewer’s response. Much of my work investigates the concept of The Uncanny, in the paradoxical ‘push and pull’ reaction, what it is in human nature that draws us in but at the same time repels us and how this response can be manipulated through re-contextualisation.
My inspiration is primarily drawn from my environment, in the textures, surfaces and structures of organic forms, architecture, science and technology. Experimentation with objects and materials, the juxtaposition and interplay of technological, architectural and organic forms, materials and contexts is at the heart of my practice.
The coalescence of art and science through materials and processes as well as thematically connects all of my work. Themes of transition, manipulation and ‘imperfection’ are explored through the analysis and re-appropriation of found objects and matter with a view to creating work that harnesses both control and spontaneity and that have the potential to or the feeling of being able to transform and evolve over time.“
Artist: Charlotte Padgham
Medium: Lamda print, 30×40 cm
Lucie Wicker, Boston, MA
“What inspires my work most? Other artists. I never feel more inspired than when I just get home from hearing an artist lecture, visiting an exhibit, seeing a documentary on the arts, etc. I am a member of several creative meet-up groups, including Boston Handmade, and the energy and enthusiasm I feel after meeting with these people, bouncing ideas off each other and exchanging information, is always rejuvenating. I don’t think I have ever walked away without a slew of new concepts and ideas to try. I am not sure where I would be as an artist without the support of my artistic peers and the inspiration from artists I admire.”
Artist: Lucie Wicker
Title: White Tree
Medium: Digital Photograph, 11×14″
Jenny Hager, Los Angeles, CA
“My work is inspired by the complexity of the human experience and my life experiences; the juxtapositions of beauty and the abject, the despair of loss and the hope of other, the inexplicability of why. My location within these questions are inspired by landscape, sense of place, and mythology.”
Artist: Jenny Hager
Medium: Acrylic, spray paint, marker on canvas, 80″x60″