What Inspires Me?

What Inspires Me?

The dictionary defines inspiration as, "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative". But in my opinion, inspiration is a loaded, misguided concept in the realm of creativity. Outsiders think creatives live in a constant state of inspiration, but what we really live in is a constant state of questioning ourselves. Are we inspired or are we copying? What do I actually like about x, y, and z, and how can I incorporate that into my work, yet still make it unique to my own identity and experiences? Why can't I find inspiration? Why do ideas always come to me in the shower, at the grocery, or as I am falling asleep at night? The list could go on and on, but my point is that we hold the inspiration up on a mighty high, golden pedestal that it surely doesn't belong on. Do I believe it is important to our creative process? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY! Inspiration opens our minds to new possibilities, and it awakens a machine inside of us that sometimes hasn't been fired up in years. It's that little voice inside reminding us what we are capable of. However, it's certainly not the end all be all of creative living. So, as I am regaining this idea of artistry, and defining myself within the artist framework, I have been spending intentional time observing art, reading art-related books to explore artist intentions and inspirations, all while navigating being motivated and inspired by myself and the world in which I live. But that is not to say that I don't appreciate the world and creativity around me to help me on my way. So here are few categories for where I look for inspiration when I am feeling stuck or need to pivot.

Where I Find Inspiration in Life:
Outdoors (especially near water or on long walks)
Books and Podcasts (Glennon Doyle)
Music and Movement
Inspirational Speakers (Brene Brown)
Watching my Children Play

Artists That Inspire Me:
Gustav Klimt and his use of patterns against soft silhouettes of women
Bisa Butler and her vibrant fiber art portraits that celebrate Black lives
Nicholas Nixon for his documentary style portraits
Sally Mann for the way she captured childhood
Nick Cave for his colorful sculptural soundsuits which address issues of race, gender and class
Lisa Congdon for her work in bold, flat colors, and playful illustration

Creative Mothers That Inspire Me:
Caitlin Shirock from Cash Color
Vee from thevpwright
Jessie from MommaLipsDraws
Lindsey Jenneman from LemmePaintDat
Ashley from ThePinkCottageCo
Machee from MacheeCreates


I know there are a ton more women, artists, etc. that inspire me, but at the end of the day, the length of a list doesn't really matter. We have to be able to inspire ourselves. We have to be able to pick up the tools and create. Nobody is going to do it for us. You can sit in awe of any other person, place, or thing (yep, going on noun-ish over here lol), but if you don't act on that butterfly feeling of excitement, it will be gone, landing on someone else's petals to bloom.

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