I hugely admire the rare artists out there who can conjour up the most incredible, unique pieces of art totally from their minds – be it on canvas, skin, walls, fabric, paper …
Sadly that is not where my strength lies personally and I have to draw inspiration from many sources and resources. I am never comfortable “winging it” especially with larger projects like bump art and body art – I spend endless, frustrating, often fruitless, hours researching images, testing out ideas and practicing my designs on canvas before transferring them to my models.
I keep my eyes peeled constantly when I’m out and about – ideas are out there everywhere – in nature, on wallpaper, wrapping paper, fabric, advertising, flooring etc etc. I often get rather odd looks from strangers when I stop in the middle of a shop to photograph some obscure piece of objet d’art or an intricate pattern hidden in the swathes of gift wrap draped on display in a corner.
Other artists that I admire are an obvious constant source of stimulus. I have a “muse” file set up on my computer full of designs that amaze me and encourage me to stretch myself. Take a look at some amazing face and body painters from the UK and all over the world at earlier blogs here. Inspirational Artists from Overseas and Home Grown Talent
My phone memory is bursting at the seams with reference photos for the more unusual requests we get at busy jobs and wherever possible I check wifi access at bookings before I start so, if time permits, I can look up anything I’m asked for that I’m not familiar with.
Thought I’d share some examples with you of images that have inspired some of my more recent designs.
Excepting an occasional “light bulb” moment, I have recently hit a bit of a brick wall with my own work – a sort of plateau where I feel stuck in an artistic rut – churning out variations of the same designs over and over; not having time to experiment with really new fresh options. I am regularly reassured by the whoops of delight from the children and parents during their mirror moments that I am still managing to deliver what I need to for my customers but I feel the need to challenge myself and have a monstrous, fat, hairy, audacious action point on my to do list (some of my old Prudential colleagues will recognise that reference!) to come up with a whole new portfolio of designs! I want a new tiger, a new fairy, a new princess, a new pirate … a new EVERYTHING. Not an easy task but I would LOVE to come up with a profusion of fresh, original designs that are fast but effective!
I thought by putting this in my blog it’ll commit me to delivering on this goal and whilst I’m not going to give myself a finite deadline, it will be a continuing work in progress and I’ll keep you all posted as things develop!
See you on the other side!