Where do I get my ideas.....

Where do I get my ideas is a question I'm often asked...  Well it's usually more like "Where do you come up with this stuff."   When I started my art education eons ago one of the first thing required was starting an inspiration file... this was not only for inspiration but to help students define their likes and dislikes... their style...  I've added some ideas on making an inspiration file on Block Talk today.  Now 50 years later I have a large computer file of things that tickle my fancy..  It's hard to beat Google images for a sources.

But there are still a couple things from the old days that might surprise you..... one is children's books.  I have a large collection from my own children and from the years I taught school..   Also when I was the graphic artist for Spokane's library system I got to review all the new children's books from publishers..  What a treat that was....I love the simplicity, the whimsy and the graphic quality of the illustrations in children's books...  I never go to the library or bookstore without browsing the children's section.

I also used to use an old college text on Art Deco era... Again it's the simplicity and the graphic qualities of that era that I've always found inspiring... But that book is not used anymore and has been replaced by Japonisme.  This is a huge, heavy text of which I have hardly read a word.  Even still the pages are worn and riddled with page markers..  Every page exudes energy and is focused on the influence of  Japanese art on European art... the impressionists painters and eventually Art Nouveau and Art Deco.  To quote the book..."Artists were especially affected by the lack of perspective and shadow, the flat areas of strong color, the compositional freedom in placing the subject off-centre, with mostly a low diagonal axis to the background." 

Artists I've always admired who were greatly influenced include: Toulouse-Latrec, Cassatt, Degas, Renoir, Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin etc. 

I have found this book has greatly affected how I personally view and use space....  My mantra is always "Do more and keep it simple."  So now you know how I come up with all this stuff!!!  Below are some examples from this book.


Marilyn said...

I am always fascinated by what people used to do in their lives. So interesting. And thanks for the tip on the inspiration file.

grbev said...

Gerry,you amaze me constantly. Just when I am enjoying your pictures and writing, you teach me something else unexpected that sends me down Google roads in search of what you have introduced into my mind! I love you for that.

From Utah,
Bev and Teddy (sleeping at my feet)

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