Friday I participated in Jamie Ridler’s Studio Seminar: Introduction to Creative Projects. I always enjoy Jamie’s take on things. In so many ways it feels like we’re kindreds and yet she always manages to spark some interesting thought for me to pursue. Gotta love that! In any case, one of the things we were looking at during the class was what inspired us. Like most creatives I have no trouble saying “everything” and meaning it.
But it is actually a topic I think about frequently. It’s something I’m grateful for – this easy pull into magic and mystery and delight that gets me excited and both expands me and helps me weave connections between what’s already in my world.
If I were to define what I think the purpose of my creative practice is, and indeed my life, I might well say to gather pieces into wholeness. I suspect each of us has a very different unique definition, and yet that’s the one that suits me. I gather, I weave, I incorporate, I put odd combinations together and find what connects them; and I’m good at it. But I don’t take it for granted. I may be skilled at it, but there’s also such a core delight in it, I like to relish it. And so I often take time to think about what HAS inspired me, and look at the ways I use those inspirations.
I also like to think about it as my being a master receiver. There’s so many fabulous things to notice and I like keeping myself open to notice them. For me it’s sort of like opening a big pile of presents – pretty fun stuff. That’s another reason I really enjoy hearing what inspires other people, what they’ve been up to, what’s igniting their interest – it’s like more presents for the pile. And that’s certainly one of the reasons I like to share what’s up in my world too. Inspirations fill our creative wells.
I love when surprise magic arrives, and something delightful showed up in my mailbox several weeks ago. Amy Putkonen sent me this wonderful created-by-her covered journal which holds a lined composition book. It was what she made for the Pay-It-Forward project we’re playing in together. Fabulous isn’t it?
The D is of course my initial, but I’ve also given it a code name, because seriously isn’t it more fun when things have code names? This is my Delectation Describer in which I’m jotting down all sorts of inspired ideas so I don’t lose them and yet they don’t have to add to the overcrowding in my brain. Delectation (defined as pleasure and delight) is a new-to-me word and it’s certainly a value I treasure, so it only makes sense I should have a journal devoted to it don’t you think?
The colors, the textures, the “hand” of the material in the cover keeps those things front and center in my mind for noticing elsewhere as well. This week it was all about the roses on my rose tree – they popped in a total explosion. At one point I had 23 (twenty-three!) roses.
I’m also doing some deep exploration with color, and one of the ways I’m working with that project is keeping a color journal. I expect I’ll be sharing more thoroughly about that in a future post, but color has really been on my radar of late.
Another dose of color arrived in the mail, the result of winning a set of notecards. They’re lovely, but what makes them especially delightful is that these colors were originally debuted in the Strathmore company paper collection in 1890, 1905, and in the 1930s. Traveling back in time through the color machine.
Speaking of cards, a different kind arrived this week as well. As a contributor to an Indiegogo funding campaign, I received The Alchemical Tarot: Renewed Four. I love tarot, I love alchemical symbolism, and I love this deck.
I’m also participating in a writing project wherein we’re using tarot cards as an adjunct tool for our work. I think I may be adding this deck to the ones I’m currently working with.
This Spring I had a ring made for me that I simply love, and it feels like a perfect combination of color and alchemical magic. Bonus points because I have a secret message engraved on the inside. Here’s a peek at it. I took it off for a moment and happened to set it on a top of a perfume bottle. And I liked how it looked – it made me think about magical gardens and beautiful vintage perfume bottles, and got me thinking about an aromatherapy project I’m working on and some of the creative things I want to add to it. For me this is another perfect example of how inspirations spark each other.
Reading is certainly one of the ways I fill my creative well, but It’s been mostly famine in that department lately for me. However this week was a feast. And as I was thinking about it I realized I read three books all with young women/girls as protagonists. I started with Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, which was actually a bit dark and sad in my opinion. So I immediately decided I needed something lighter as a chaser, and Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple fit the bill. But the best of the lot was a kid’s book with a 10-year old protagonist and her superhero squirrel Flora and Ulysses by Kate Camillo. A charming little book sprinkled with occasional comic-book style panel illustrations.
Speaking of charming (and a little sad) this week I also watched Moon Diary, a short animated film by Eric Tanner and Chris Randolph. The synopsis by the creators: “A lonely, childlike moon keeps a diary of his depression, boredom, and recurring nightmares. He writes about his very few friends: an invisible person, a pack of wolves, and a boy who lives in space on a garbage pile, protecting the earth from debris. Moon Diary is 7 days through the eyes of this gentle sky rock.” Here’s a photo of the DVD. Really how can you not like a moon that looks like this?
There you have it – a peek at a few things that inspired me this week. What about you? What sparked you? Are you keeping your creative well of inspiration filled? Working on any projects you want to brag a bit about? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
I would like to have your mailbox. And I love that ring, what are the stones? I have a hard time being inspired by too many things, it confuses me, so I try to tone it down some and focus on a few things.
It’s great you know your parameters – that sweet spot between not enough inspiration and overstimulation.
I thought you might like the ring. It has rubies, red and orange sapphires, and a rosy red spinel.
I have a wonderful interview with comedienne Erica Rhodes coming up on the blog, as well as the month’s six words post, and the second post with answers my kids gave to questions sent to me by text from Q4KIDZ. It’s a busy time, and very little involves my own writing, which is fine with me – I hope the combination of it all will give my writing muscles a rest.
I love that you find inspiration everywhere. It’s there, we just need to see it!
What wonderful stuff Eli, and yay for giving your writing muscles a little vacation. And I agree, inspiration is all around us – we only need to keep our eyes and hearts open.
Deborah, I’ve been thinking of starting a project blending writing with the tarot. Would love to hear what you’re doing with the same kinds of elements. You’re always an inspiration to me!
I love that we’re so often on the same wavelength Harmony. I’m participating in a project with a group using writing and tarot and something on my own, and you can be sure I’ll be posting more about both soon.
My inspiration this week centers around Tarot, folklore and flowers. I’m working on a painting of a wood nymph, my Arthropoda Tarot Deck, and my first coloring book 🙂
Sounds truly fabulous and fun Linda!
Just reading this post makes me spin! You have so much going on and it all seems like such fun. I am looking forward to doing Sparkles next month with Jamie. She is fantastic.
Oh fun Janet. Wishing you a sparkly month of August!