A book of ideas

While I took a long pause from painting and drawing through the summer, seems maybe my muse melted in the heatwave,  I was all out of inspiration for weeks. Instead I turned my attention to sewing and spent my spare time adding to this ongoing project .

Then, as suddenly as the ideas had dried up, they began to repopulate my thoughts.

A couple of months ago I started a new art journal. This time, instead of my usual blurted streams of consciousness, wild splats of color and scribbled thoughts, I have something of a theme going on this time.

The background for an “inspired by” spread
The background for an “inspired by” spread

The pages are beginning like usual, with splashes and washes of color from messy brush wipes, patches of color to use up left over paint.

BUT, the next step is the new part: every page is has space for drawing something I’ve been inspired by.

So often I take photos of patterns and shapes, so often I save images from artists and designers.

All the things that light up my imagination and set off a new train of doodles.

So I’ve got an enormous catalogue of inspiration tucked away in my phone, my bookmarks & favs.

When I get a spare few minutes, or when I want to warm up my drawing brain, I go to my art journal to add drawings and doodles inspired by someone or something in my list.

I was fascinated by the shapes and lines of these rocks on the beach in Cyprus last month. Dozens of photos of these wonderful wobbly lines. This is the first of a series they inspired.

Meanwhile, other artists have been drip-feeding ideas into my mind too. I invite their influence to stretch my skills, to let their style add new aspects to the way I doodle.

Alisa Burke creates fabulous flowery mandalas and often shares her process in Instagram. It’s such a meditative process, watching the patterns unfurl onto the page.

This is the first of  my inspired by Alisa spreads.

art journal spread inspired by Alisa Burke
art journal spread inspired by Alisa Burke

Where do you find your inspiration? how do you stretch your creativity to include new patterns and shapes?

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