April 5, 2023

I recently joined the Artist Alliance Community, a group of artists. For the first time, I have the opportunity to participate in a Stay-in-Place residency. This is not a residency in the usual sense, where artists are given time, space and resources to focus on projects or questions away from their usual daily lives.

Everyone works with their own materials in their own studio. The Stay-in-Place residency is self-organized, yet it is about focus. At the beginning, you set a goal: What do you want to achieve in the next 3 months, what do you want to work on? It doesn't matter what the goal is.

It's about commitment; together we share a sense of obligation. That helps you stay focused. Once a week we share ideas, give each other feedback, support and encourage each other. I am very excited to be working with wonderful artists from all over the world on our respective projects.

I have 4 goals for the next 3 months:

  • I would like to continue to publish a new blog article every week.
  • At the beginning of July, I will participate in an artist market. I am preparing for it.
  • ABUN is working with the Southeastern Grasslands Institute at Austin Peay State University on a new project. I would like to create one or two pieces of art for that.
  • My main goal is to create a new series of art. In the beginning, there is always the search for inspiration.

Inspiration for new art

The search for inspiration is a journey that is different for every artist. For me, it often starts with a hunch, a whiff of an idea that slowly develops and becomes something bigger.

As an artist, I look at the world with an open mind, always ready to absorb whatever touches me and can be expressed in my art. An idea of an idea, not even formulated, just a hint, is the beginning of my search. My curiosity is my greatest asset. I am hungry for the unknown.

I capture my ideas, everything that makes a sound in me, in mood boards. These collections of images, colors, textures, and materials serve as the inspiration and starting point for my artwork. They are the framework within which creativity and imagination can be set free.

It is an ongoing process that constantly challenges and motivates me to find new ways to express my art. It takes patience, dedication and passion - but it's worth it! In my constant search for inspiration, there are three areas in particular where I always find new inspiration.

Today I'd like to show you the mood boards from these areas that will lead me to my new art series.

My green muse: How the beauty of nature inspires me to explore new artistic paths

My main source of inspiration is and remains nature. And it has a lot to offer in spring. New beginnings are in the air. The colors are so delicate, the air so light and translucent. There is the smell of grass and leaves, the gentle murmur of streams and rivers. And then the scent of apple blossoms...

I love being in nature, just walking or sitting and listening to the sounds and smells around me. Sometimes I find answers to questions that have been bothering me, and almost always inspiration for a new project or an important step in my life.

In nature, I can sort and balance my thoughts and feelings. When I move in it, I feel free and yet connected to everything that exists around me. Nature gives me a moment of peace and clarity that encourages me to listen to my inner self and discover what I really want.

Inspiration and peace, beauty and clarity - I am grateful for every moment I can spend in nature.

When I can't be outdoors, I like to scour the internet for inspiring landscape photography. I always find what I am looking for. What fascinates me about the images I've collected in this mood board are the colors and the delicacy. I am trying to bring them to life in my new series.

Sensual Inspiration: Why Food, Music, and Nature Make Me a Better Artist

It is that unmistakable moment when all the senses come together and the world is full of colors, smells and sounds. A good meal - the flavors blend and dance on the tongue. Being together, talking, laughing and telling stories until dawn. The hours fly by.

Conversations that inspire, challenge and bring us closer together. The smell of fresh berries, the feel of grass under your bare feet, music that makes me cry - or dance. Any of these things can be the spark that ignites an idea, the spark that unleashes my creativity, the spark that awakens new art in me.

It's one thing to enjoy things superficially, but when you dive deep into the experience and consciously notice every moment, that's the key to inspiration for me.

It's about letting those experiences flow into my art. Enjoying with all my senses gives me the tools to bring my ideas and my creativity to life. It helps me sharpen my senses and expand my perception of the world around me. It makes me feel alive, inspired and full of creativity.

The Beauty of Tactility: How Natural Materials and Textures Influence my Artistic Work

Naturalness is very important to me as a painter. Also in the materials and textures I surround myself with. Wood, sandstone, clay, ceramics, coarse linen - I have already written about my passion for paper in another blog post. I love to touch these materials, to feel them. I find it very sensual.

Even if I don't always use these materials and textures in my art, they still inspire me in a special way. I love their feel and tactility and like to incorporate that feeling into my art. The materials I have around me in my studio play an important role in my artistic work. When I have a new idea for a piece of art, I often go in search of materials that will help me realize my vision.

It's important for me to feel connected to the materials and textures I use in my art. I strive to capture the essence and beauty of these natural materials - this creates a dialog between my art and the world around me that is essential to me.

Die verschiedenen Materialien befeuern meine Inspiration

Invitation to Experiment and Discover

These are just a few ideas - of course there are a thousand ways to inspiration, and they are different not only for each artist, but often for each work or series of works. Schiller, it is said, had to smell a rotten apple to get going, Hemingway had to sharpen 30 pencils to get inspiration flowing. All that is allowed - if it works - and all other ways as well. I, for one, find working with mood boards both stimulating and liberating - it's a way of collecting materials without immediately making them artistic: they remain free for a while, so to speak, for mutual conversation. In this way, they create exactly the resonance space I need to enter into a dialogue with my upcoming artwork. What's it like for you?

How do you find inspiration? Do you also create mood boards or do you go in completely different directions?
Are you more inspired by the familiar or the unfamiliar? Are you a sharpener or a collector? I'm curious, tell me.

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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