I get this question often, and it’s understandable since most people cite inspiration as the one thing they need as artists. Well, guess what folks? Inspiration can come from anywhere. As I said in the intro to my book Inspirations:
“It can come at any time. It can come quickly, like a flash of lightning; it can come slowly, like a gathering storm. It can, quite possibly, not come at all. Or it can come when you’re not looking for it. The key, therefore, is to keep your eyes open, your antennae up and your senses attuned…”
I was inspired by this beautiful image from the book Valentino: Themes and Variations
The Celebrations book cover
There are a few things I generally cite as my inspiration for most of my work:
- The beauty of nature. I constantly strive to bring the organic creation of what I see around me into the work I produce. Nothing can match the color combinations of nature, and nothing can surpass the generosity of nature. You can witness this just by observing the beauty of a fall forest.
- Fashion. The runway is an endless source of inspiration to me. I love visiting fashion shows and checking out the new colors, texture and fabric.
This detail shot from Valentino: Themes and Inspirations inspired my Celebrations book cover.
The back cover of Celebrations
- Travel. You have to see beyond the small plot of land you live in. I love exploring other cultures. I try to immerse myself in the colors, scents and flavors other cultures use. Trust me, you’ll find yourself wanting to incorporate these new found joys into your next project.
- Relationships. The relationships I cultivate with my colleagues, my friends, my partner, all add up to a sense of excitement and inspiration. Just like in travel, exposing yourself to others’ point of view is a great way to find inspiration, especially when you’re not necessarily looking for it.This, of course, also applies to your relationship with your clients. They are one of my greatest sources of inspiration. Sometimes they will just give me one cue or word that will open up a whole new way of thinking about the project.
And, let’s be real here folks. Sometimes, there are days where you just don’t feel inspired. What do you do in this case? Suck it up and keep on working.
In the act of doing, you stumble across ideas or emotions that may be hiding. And THAT my loves, is what it’s really all about. Working through that blank feeling is what creates true success. Otherwise, if you just cite a lack of inspiration for your inability to produce work, you’re just making excuses.
Well, that’s my story. So now tell me, what do you find inspiring?