Where do you find your inspiration?

by April Turgutalp

As artists, we have mental creative blocks, we have surges of creativity, and we have coasting times where we are just cruising through the artwork peacefully. I have learned not to force my ideas. Most of my artwork is so bizarre and unique, that if I were to force my ideas they might turn out mediocre, common, or just plain idiodic. The best time for me to have that “ah-ha!” moment is right before I go to bed. It’s very convenient for me because it keeps me up all night jotting down my ideas in a drawing book. I wish I could have it in the morning while drinking my coffee, but perhaps it doesn’t happen because I am so dreadfully tired from having those “ah-ha” moments keeping me up till the wee hours of the morning. The point of this story is that no matter how inconvenient it may be for you, you have to trust the process. Let your ideas come naturally, not forced. I do ask, “what is my next awesome idea?” and then I let my subconscious take over. It will eventually answer my question, right before I fall asleep. The other thing that answers me right before I fall asleep is my cat. He will meow loudly to let me know that it is not time to fall asleep yet. This was not a factor in the time I accidentally dried my cat in the dryer for five minutes. That was a total accident. He was real fluffy and soft afterwards though. I think it was the bounce dryer sheets. There is my ADD kicking in, so lets get back to the topic, inspiration for your artwork. The reason I find my inspiration right before I go to sleep, is because I am in a meditative state. If I could slow my brain down (or my body movement for that matter) during the day, I would be able to find my inspiration at a more reasonable time. I think the most important part of inspiration is making sure you are clear of any negative or pressing thoughts. We can’t come up with great ideas when we are completely engulfed with thoughts of bills, chores or deadlines. Find the spot that relaxes you. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a day at the beach, sitting on your couch with a glass of wine petting your incredibly spoiled cat, or gazing out the window watching the rain hit the sidewalk. The next time you have a surge of creativity, as yourself where were you in your life? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Jot them down so you know what emotions or experiences light your inspiration. You can find shortcuts to your inspiration if you know what your triggers are. Find your peace, ask your question, relax and let the answer find you.

Aloo Gobi's naked carrot found on aprilsalleycatart.com is a prime example of letting a unique idea come to you. There is no way I could have forced Bob Ross's cauliflower hair-do. It came naturally, just like his happy little mistake, the naked carrot draped across the mountains.