Monday, September 14, 2009

Feed the Soul

"When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be,
he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self expressing creature."
~ Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Have you fed your creative soul lately? Perhaps the first question is, do you know what your creative soul yearns for or thrives on?

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
~ Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere's Fan)

What are you looking at most of the time, what imagery fills your visual terrain? Is it uplifting? When I was in high school I use to cut pictures out of my favorite fashion magazines and put them into sketchbooks for inspiration. I also had a bulletin board in my bedroom where I'd do the same thing. During my four year term at Otis Art Institute I met the designer Marilyn Neuhart who had a glorious board in her cubicle of her company design office. She inspired me to go even bigger with my board and incorporate more than just pictures from magazines. Later I married Marilyn's son, Ben, providing the luxury of being inspired by the whole Neuhart family on a regular basis.

Thus my journey into the land of inspiration boards was born. An inspiration board is visual eye candy that is profound enough to uplift your spirit to an altered state. Music, beautiful aroma and or something delicious have a similar affect. In fact you could even put together a little sensorium of delights every now and then.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
~ Maya Angelou

First you will need to enter the Temple of the Oracle and get in touch with what actually feeds your soul. You may discover this just by looking through pictures in a magazine and cutting them out. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron is an excellent tool and can easily be gotten at the library if finances are a challenge.

One of the many gems I learned from the artist way is the artist date. For my artist date I normally get out of my art / botanical perfume studio and visit one of my favorite spots, like Anthrolpologie for example. The visual stimulation in Anthropologie gets my juices flowing every single time. Beauty filled website have a similar affect, but, it' best to get out of the cyber space and experience the tactile world. There are other stores and things that do the same thing, like Bountiful in Venice Beach California or traveling.

To begin your board:

1. Select where the board will go and measure the space.

2. Decide how you will construct your board. Will it be a simple bulletin board or a piece of celotex (called homosote on the East coast) or cork board? Bulletin boards are easily available at your local art or office supply stores. I find celotex at hardware and building supply stores, which probably also carry cork board. My husband uses foam core. I prefer to use celotex because I can buy it in big sheets to cover an entire wall.

3. Decide if you will want to paint or cover the board with material or even put a frame or moulding around the edges. I have also seen some really pretty ones on Martha Stewart where ribbon is utilized.

4. Once the terrain is ready you can begin putting in your seedlings. The seedlings can be images from magazines, photographs, art postcards, quotes, pieces of fabric, charms, etc. As long as these seedlings will bear the fruit of inspiration within you then anything goes! I use pins and thumb tacks placed on the side of the object, whether its a postcard, fortune from a cookie or a treasure from an antique store. See example below.

There is a group on Flickr devoted to Inspiration Boards where you can see some examples of what other creatives are doing. You can also post your boards there as well.

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening.
Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth."

~ Mark Twain

Images ©RoxanaVilla, first two photos were taken at Anthropology in Manhatten Beach, all the other photos are of my current inspiration board.

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