Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Art has all sorts of inspirations – music, emotions, people, scenery – there is no limit to what might inspire you to do that next masterpiece. I often state who or what has inspired my Second Life art. One of the lesser known inspirations for my art comes from a passion my husband has – Magic The Gathering cards. They are “collectable” cards that are used to play a game, it has tournaments with rewards and it’s an international phenomenon – chances are you’ve heard of it. What you might not have noticed though is the amazing artwork on some of these cards.

A recent example got my imagination fired up, a newly released card called “Progenitus“. There is so much I love about the art on this card. It’s ominous subtleties directed inspired this recent picture I shot in Second Life. Don’t ask me to explain what the card’s ability means, I don’t know – that’s fancy pants stuff for great men like my husband. But I love the quote on the card that goes with the picture: “The Soul of the World has returned”. *breathes* I love that! There is a lot to be said for the words that are presented with art: One of my friends, Prad Prathivi, has a real knack for finding the right words to enhance a piece of art, it really makes a huge difference and can take art to the next level.

One of the special aspects of these Magic the Gathering cards is that they need to match the feel and story of the card’s ability (and reading about what would go visually wrong when they didn’t is amusing). I often try to convey a story or a message in my art pieces so this strongly appeals to me. Once you get into an appreciation of the artists who’s talents go into these cards you start discovering their other work too, like this by Jaime Jones who did the card art I showed you above. Tell me you don’t think that’s some amazing work, and this guy is only 22!

I’m considering starting my own collection of this amazing card art because they get my creative juices flowing every time. Thankfully the house is full of literally thousands of the things because of my husband’s existing passion for their game aspect, I’m sure he won’t mind if I take one of his $1000 valued rare cards (I’m not kidding, some are really worth that much o.O) and add it to my collection of pretties…

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My picture inspired by Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

My picture inspired by Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

I’ve said before how much music means to me, it’s as good as beyond words: As a kid I’d compose little pieces of music which would occupy hours of my day. I’m classically trained – in Piano and Viola principally. I also have perfect pitch (which means I can hear when it’s out but doesn’t make me instantly a great singer – I just know when I go wrong :p), and “fast eyes” (basically effecting sight-reading and hand-eye co-ordination). But none of this makes my taste in music any better than yours. I am lowest common denominator in my tastes according to most, and people often manage to succeed to make me feel a sort of shame about the music I love. I often take down music references on my art-work to avoid the inevitable “huh” and general “what the f*** were you thinking?” when people listen to the music that inspires my work.

I love anything I can dance and sing to at the same time. I need a strong regular beat and clear words, like in my latest piece of music I’m obsessing over – Poker Face by Lady Gaga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdpSmNMg1is . I need music that gets deep into me and makes it so I can’t sit still. The sort of music that makes you change your stride when you’re walking with your headphones piping it directly to your brain. My heart seems to match the beat and I just sink into it.

But people hate my music, they call it simple, they call it “popular” (like that’s a bad thing). They say it lacks sophistication and thought. You might as well call me simple, tell me being popular is a bad thing and that I lack sophistication and thought, because songs like that speak to me above all others. They put intense images in my head that I have to attempt to get out in art-work – I haven’t perfected this skill yet but I intend to.

Singers like Lady Gaga get intense respect from me, because I’ve seen her sing live on the telly – ie not studio pre-recorded stuff. And to me, that is brave, and that is pure, and far too rare. I’ve read people criticise her for her long face and weird wigs, like hello..? What the hell is wrong with these people. She’s given you the gift of music for your ears, she’s poured her talent and emotion into something for your entertainment. She should be adored not criticized for her looks. She’s coming to my city in May with the Pussycat Dolls (who I also adore) and I am determined to get tickets whatever it takes. They will sell out within hours (or minutes maybe) of their release of course but I’m going to try to be one of the people that gets in online to grab them up. Just the thought of seeing music live again makes my heart race, it’s been a decade since I saw a big live act (and people made fun of me for being passionate about that last group too *sigh*).

Ah well, each to their own. My music makes me happy and I should stop letting other people’s opinion of it make me hide my tastes and passions.

By the way, I like Britney too.

I heard that Prad, shaddup.

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SupplicantI have a friend who feels like they’ve lost their inspiration lately. I have no doubt they’ll get it back, these things are just a matter of time. It got me thinking about what inspires me; I thought it best I record it for future reference in case I find my own well run dry anytime soon (would be a really bad time for it to happen right now). Through all the little things that feed my art two stand out above all others:

Music. I listen to the same radio station everyday at some point – usually during tedious chores or while out on equally tedious walks. Everytime I manage to get exposed to music which makes my heart beat faster, or my eyes water with emotion, or makes me want to run instead of walk with the sheer uplifting joy of it all. Music is my primary inspiration – I write down lyric lines which capture my imagination or play my latest favourite tune over and over while working on a piece of art; it’s a constant factor.

Relationships. This second category is a huge one that captures so much. The relationships I have with people – love, lust, close friendship bonds, family-ties. Each relationship I have with a person causes different emotions which need release or expression through my art, it helps me understand both them and myself better.

You’ll often see me cite a piece of music which inspired my work but far more rarely you will see me directly acknowledge the relationship I had in mind when I was making it – and it’s often not the actual person shown in the picture either. For most of my pictures I can look back and say who inspired what and why, because the picture has captured it for me.

So right now while I’m trying to churn out a lot of new art-works – hoping for those really good pieces I wouldn’t mind submitting to a gallery to add to my existing choices – I am very strongly aware of this sense of almost trying to “force” inspiration. It’s not the most comfortable or pleasant experience, but at the same time it feels really good to be working towards a goal. I suppose there’s a trade-off going on there. I’m just grateful that so far my inspiration hasn’t left me.

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