Inspiration Sundays - Making Some Changes

I was pondering about the difference between "inspiration" and "motivation" and realized that the posts I was calling Inspiration Sundays, while hopefully inspiring, were more motivating. Motivation is often external (though there is self-motivation), while inspiration is internal. I read someone added that motivation comes from both positive and negative experiences, while inspiration comes from joy... but if you look at art, there are plenty of moving pieces that were inspired by "negative" events. The point being that I cannot inspire anyone directly, at best I can share things that are inspirational to me and hope that you find them to be inspirational as well. 

So the change I want to make is this. On Inspiration Sundays, I am going to share 10 things that inspired me this week. They can be anything from songs, photos, pictures I took, quotes, art supplies, found objects, thoughts, etc. Who knows, maybe they'll spark a light within you? The posts I have been doing and calling Inspiration Sundays will be moved to Monday, because I like the way Motivational Mondays sounds. In addition to all this, I would like to also add Felting Fridays to the mix. If I come up with any more creative tautograms or alliterations (would that be an alliteration?) that work for the other days of the week and have enough material to post fairly consistently, I'll do that too! Yes, I know Inspiration Sundays doesn't fit that naming system, but maybe if we go by the word Intichu from the Quechua language, it would. Inspiration Intichu. Anyway, I think three posts a week to start is a doable for me from what I have been doing, even if it seems all piled up on the weekends at the moment. 

So here is my curated list of creative inspiration! (Disclaimer: Except for my own photos, I do not take credit for any of the photos shared in this post, and they have all been credited and linked back to the source.)

10 things that inspired me this week

I first kept reapplying the cling wrap to cover the page, then after doing another page, used the cling wrap from that on top of this one. It really makes that red POP!

I first kept reapplying the cling wrap to cover the page, then after doing another page, used the cling wrap from that on top of this one. It really makes that red POP!

(1) This post on "Squish Paintings" by Alisa Burke. Though I have to say, when I tried it with my daughter, she was NOT too keen on it. When she heard the word "painting" she thought we were going to paint in the traditional sense of the word: getting the palettes out, brushes, filling up the water cups, and sitting together at the kitchen table while we worked on our individual art. She flipped out when she saw what I was doing. I, however, LOVED IT, and filled quite a few art journal pages with colorful backgrounds. I did a bit of a spin on it though and reused the cling wrap over and over to completely cover the page, even using the cling wrap from a different page/colors to put paint on top of another "squish painting." Thinking back, I can understand why she wouldn't like it... it makes it "unpredictable" and she is a perfectionist. Which I think has a lot of benefits to it and don't mean that in a negative way at all, but sometimes the best art comes from happy accidents :) We're working on it.

(2) This picture shared by the Old Moss Woman's Secret Garden page (from Bob Brown's page). I LOVE mushrooms, and the secret garden page in general since I'm often coming across real things from nature that I would've never imagined to be real. Seriously, look at the color of those!! Hm... maybe I'll make a series of unique needle felted mushrooms.

(3) Pearl-Ex Powdered Pigments by Jacquard (affiliate link disclosure). I've had my eye on these for a LONG time, after seeing them used on a polymer clay tutorial, and I finally ordered them. OMG these are SO FUN! I used them on the art journal page for tomorrow's Motivational Monday post, as well as another few pages, and right now I'm thinking of how I could apply it to felt. I definitely think I could use it on sculptural pieces (I wouldn't do it on toys) and 2D art, just dust a bit to accent certain areas and really add a nice sparkle to them. I need to think of something to give it a try. It wouldn't really be anything new, since I know some artists have used eye-shadow on their felt dolls. 

(4) "Targeted" Playlist by Spotify. (I really hope embedding this works!) Spotify is my favorite way of listening to and finding music, and I'll often switch between different genres depending on my mood. Most often, I enjoy peaceful tunes, because music with too much "noise" is sometimes distracting and then uninspiring. Especially loud music. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all kinds of genres (except maybe "screamo"), but they're not all suited for focusing on my art.

(5) Sue Spargo. I recently joined a group on Facebook for wool applique, which involves making applique quilts, blocks and crafts using wool, and one of the posts mentioned the name Sue Spargo as a source of some really great blocks, patterns, kits, etc.... just look at the cover of that book! I had fun browsing through her shop, looking at all the pretty threads, the BOM (Block of the month) patterns, and I am thinking of ways where I can do something similar with felt and embroidery. 

(6) Hanna Dovhan's Felt Food Friends. Someone linked to this post in one of the needle felting groups I belong to on Facebook, and aren't these adorable?! Not only was the idea wonderfully executed, but she's got some skills! Look how perfectly smooth and flat she got her surfaces, and I can only imagine the painstaking work that went into making sure the egg and avocado fit together just right. 

(7) This post on the lost art of custom illustrated books. Also known as extra-illustrated or grangerized, apparently this was a popular thing in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, though it was also highly frowned upon by the Book Lover's Almanac. I'll leave you to read the post, but my opinion: to each their own. Once you own the book, it's your copy. You can personalize it however you like (and what better way than with beautiful illustrations?). I wonder if they also frowned upon annotating books? And how about the books that were then passed down to the next generations? I would think it would make that book all the more special.

(8) Ales the Woodcarver's whimsical houses. I was looking for some whimsical house inspiration (for one of my upcoming needle felted tutorials) and found this treasure through a google images search. These are amazing! Ales is incredibly talented, and it appears as though he takes requests for commissions, though he does have a few things (not houses) on his etsy page. I have played around a little with wood carving, tried to make a relief, but nothing even close to anything like this. My grandfather did wood carving (he was also an artisan woodworker), and after retiring he made religious figures and reliefs which he donated to the local church, so I've always had an appreciation of what people can make from wood!

It's impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren't feeling twinkly yourself." Roald Dahl

(9) Whimsy! Who doesn't love things that make them feel twinkly? For me, those are whimsical things. Whimsy art, whimsy decor, whimsy houses and trees and colors and everything! Which is why I'm going to make the first series of needle felting tutorials 2D whimsical art. We live not too far from this wonderful little (I'd even say whimsical) place called Peddler's Village, and on the rare few times we go - which I'm really hoping we'll be headed over one day this month to see all the scarecrows - there is this whimsical store full of colorful, whimsical art and just wonderful things in general. I always feel so inspired when I go, and this time I think I'll bring my camera! Until then, I'll continue to goggle at online photos.

(10) Chelsea Fitch of KnitFitch. One thing I think is incredibly important when starting your own business is to learn from the people who are making it happen. Two I enjoy following are Alisa Burke and Tamara Laporte (of Willowing Arts), but yesterday I learned about Chelsea through a comment on one of Gary Vaynerchuk's videos. I love collecting names of successful entrepreneurs and going way back to when they started. If they have a blog, I'll go as far back as it goes and start at the beginning and watch them grow. Everyone starts at the beginning. Everyone goes through growing pains and learning lessons through experience, and there are gems hidden in their content that can be uncovered if you just know what to look for. I'm excited about having a new person to follow and learn from.