Monday, November 30, 2015

47 amazing secrets for putting the ass in aspirational

1.    providing or showing creative or spiritual inspiration.
"the team's inspirational captain."

On a fairly regular basis, every artist gets asked, “what was your inspiration for doing THAT”. The expected answer is typically some lofty, noble, family friendly, gushy, tree hugging, bodhisattva-like connect the cosmic dots epiphany of universal Truth. Most artists will confess that it works exactly like that – except when it doesn’t, which is most of the time.

But, because people want to know these things, this month’s Blog Carnival goes poking about underneath our intellectual rocks to see what crawls out.  Technically, the theme is “What inspires you and how has it influenced your work”.  Just remember, you started this.

But we digress. Where were we….? Oh yes, lofty, noble, blah, blah, blah.
For us “inspiration” is a game of imaginomic roulette. The wheel never stops. The dots keep flooding in. Layers of connections and associations build. The problem is not turning it on. The problem is turning off the tsunami of ideas, associations and inspiration long enough actually to get some work done.

We find that inspiration comes just as much from negative as positive. Things that invoke our darker emotions are just as likely to motivate us toward creation as kittens and long walks on the beach at sunset (something we never do).
Case in point was a visit to an art exhibition a few years ago that featured some pieces taking obligatory swipes at the Catholic Church. Our favorite being the practical and irreverent, “Our Lady of Guadalupe” waffle Iron. But then there was a piece like this:

What struck us was the wholesale unoriginality of the piece. Another guns cum crucifix “statement” almost identical to the three dozen or more that we have seen in art exhibitions over the last four decades. How did this find its way into a contemporary art exhibition?  Never mind that the Crusades were, like, so last millennium. It was the apparent absence of knowledge of art history on the part of the artist AND curator of the exhibition.

Our connect-the-dots brains immediately jumped into hyperdrive like some cosmic pinball machine. Catholic church…art history…artists protesting institution of church…church greatest patron of the arts in history…artists biting the hand that has traditionally fed them…what does the opposite look like? 

Now, none of that may make any sense to you at all, and you may not agree with any of it. That’s OK. You get to connect the dots any way you like – or not at all. It's art – we don’t need no stinking rules.

For us, the dots lead to creating a piece that addressed the idea of “faith” or belief.  The result of all that looks like this:

Article of Faith, 2Roses, Sterling Silver, Rutile, Paper, Brass
We chose the iconography of birth over death.  The design draws deeply on traditional references from Catholic ritual objects.  It has never been a goal to produce art with religious or spiritual intent. This is simply where the path led us - cause and effect. But that was so, like, 15 minutes ago. There have been a thousand other inspirations in the meantime.

See what inspires our Etsymetal teammates.

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