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Jump-Start your Inspiration and Beat Artist Block

Have you ever felt 'stuck' with little to no inspiration to work with? While I do have an inkling of an idea of what I'd like to pursue next, this is how I've been feeling recently. It comes for all of us eventually and for some of us, persistently. In times like these I like to look back to my previous work. I've found it helps to utilize alternate mediums you may not typically work with to jump-start inspiration. Previous expectations are removed and you become focused on creating something new, perhaps even outside of your established style. This process can be incredibly liberating. So try pastels, collage, printmaking, gouache, charcoal, or anything else you've got sitting on a shelf or in your closet that you haven't touched in ages or even at all. Give yourself a prompt to narrow your focus using a random generator like this, or by opening a dictionary to a random page if you don't already have any ideas.

Photo by Evie Shaffer from Pexels

Early on in my art career while I was still in school, photography scratched that itch for me (in addition to a multitude of media I used in my mixed media course). I didn't know I'd end up pursing photography up to the advanced courses at the time I started exploring with the medium. This is present in my series Uncanny, depicted below.

Uncanny, 2018

This photography series was taken in 2018 as a precursor to my body of work, FLESH presented in by BFA show at Central Washington University. The inspiration for this series was a single word provided by my professor at the time:



strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.

Black thread tightly wrapped around fleshy parts of the body became my canvas to convey the strange and unsettling visual of constricted flesh similar to trussed meat.

These visuals sparked my inspiration to use the nude form as the subject of my BFA Senior Thesis, which largely influenced my painting as well. While the particularly unsettling part of this series was interesting, the natural folds of flesh fascinated me more moving forward as I documented the natural form of bodies of all shapes and sizes.


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