Thursday, June 02, 2005

Does one need inspiration?

Gabrielle Swain has provided a great topic question and whether I have the correct thread of it or not, here comes my opinions and insights on the subject.

Yes, we need to make the work, those of us who think of ourselves as artists. We need to make the work for our living, our identity, our career and our sanity. So what if there are no ideas floating around that inspire us? Does that mean we should wait around til they arrive, suitcase full and some assembly required? Wouldn't that be nice?

I get the urge to create so often and yet there are no ideas there. It has finally dawned on me that I make work 'unecumbered by the thought process' as Click and Clack would say.

Yesterday was a perfect example. It was supposed to be a silk dyeing day, and after paying the bills and futzing around and not getting anywhere near dyeing, my husband came home for lunch! I had done nothing productive, unless you count balancing two checkbooks productive, and the day was slipping by so quickly that I was ready to call it a day off (again) but...

After he ate the cholesterol loaded lunch I whipped up and went back to work, I wandered into the studio and brought out my Reorganized Scrap Bins and decided to "make something from nothing and sell it" (Attributed to Frank Zappa). I have a bunch of leftovers too good to toss and used them as the starting point. I also have some 5x7" mats and clear bags to hold small art work, so that, if you can call it such, was my inspiration, my jumping off point.

I had leftovers and a specific size to fill, plenty of raw material and time, yet not a beautiful idea in my head. What I had was the experience and the ability to make decisions and commit to the act.
Jasper Johns', "do something and then do something to that" advice led the way to several creative hours and six new small works.
I will gladly show them to you when they are finished. But I must go back in and make some more. One good one led to another and another. I am on fire!
I really must dye silk tomorrow.

PS. Our new friend Margaret M. Roberts' new blog is up and ready for you to visit.


  1. I think this is a constant problem for all of us. When I did my quilt-a-day thing, it really helped me realize that I had the ability to just make something out of nothing and it might be good looking or it might just be good for me. But it seems like a constant bane to have the desire to create something "deep and meaningful". A fine arts education surely drills that into us. We have to remember that we can't get to our "deep and meaningful" work if we don't make our "frivilous and flat" work. How else would you know the difference? Plus, the older I get the more I like frivolity. It makes me happy and uses up the bits and pieces.

  2. Yep yep yep. Thank you again for a thought provoking post, and comment! Art school and "content" and I am such a fluff chick, to make stuff because it is fun first and worry about content after the fact (well not really but sorta, I think you get what I am saying here). And to keep a constant reminder that inspiration comes from work just as often if not more so than the other way around.


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com