Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

An artist’s inspiration: What is it that shapes your craft?

Artwork by Van Gogh

For artists, creating art is not just about work, but something they do in order to express themselves. That is how art began, really! This expression can take different forms; it can be a painting or a sculpture or anything else. However, the bottom line remains that whatever they create, you can always find bits and pieces of the artist in his/her work.

When it comes to an artist’s inspiration, what is it that makes them draw/paint a certain piece? Why do they choose certain colors or why do they favor certain patterns in their artworks? Certainly, their own life and experiences have a role to play here. But even artists also find inspiration around them. Whether it is another artist or an element in the nature, they are constantly observing, and intentionally or unintentionally, they incorporate those elements in their own work. 

We at Arts to Hearts Project are always looking to interact with our community of artists and ask them engaging questions on our Instagram (@artstoheartsproject). In this week’s article, we will explore our followers’ responses regarding an artist’s inspiration behind their art. Whether it is an artist’s work that has influenced their style, or something else that inspires them, we asked our community members to share it with us. We hope that these responses will also help you reflect on your own art and inspirations!

artist's inspiration
Artwork by Alejandra Morales

Artists that influence fellow artists’ style

As we read the names of the many artists that can be behind an artist’s inspiration, we were reminded of some amazing artworks, and simultaneously, were also introduced to some more talented artists. We hope that you will also enjoy browsing these artists’ work, just like we did!

Many artists referred to Helen Frankenthaler, who was an American abstract expressionist painter, and Cy Twombly Jr., who was an American sculptor, painter, and photographer. And of course, who wouldn’t be inspired by the great Frida Kahlo, as @lailamasristudioo so rightfully mentioned! She is one of those artists who is behind an artist’s inspiration not just because of her work, but also because of the extraordinary life she led.

artist's inspiration
Artwork by Helen Frankenthaler
artist's inspiration
Artwork by Cy Twombly

A few more names we came across included Eva Hesse, who was a German-born American sculptor. She was known for her work in materials such as fiberglass, latex, and plastics; a trailblazer surely. And René Gruau’s legacy in the fashion industry was bound to inspire young inspiring artists!

artist's inspiration
Artwork by René Gruau
Artwork by Robert Motherwell

Here are some more artists whose work has inspired the fellow artists in our ATH community!

It is always heartening to see artists familiarize themselves with other artists’ works and appreciate their craft. We were excited to see so many artists being named, as they all belonged to a diverse background and included both male and female artists.  

What other elements can be the source of an artist’s inspiration?

While some artists are instantly intimidated by other artworks, others have a different approach to their art. Some find the beauty in nature and try to replicate that. Other artists think about the world and how it works, and that inspires them to create something that depicts their philosophical approach towards life.

For @atelieagerbo2, it’s important to take inspiration from imagination, and we all know that our imagination has no limits. From fire breathing dragons to unicorns to fairies, an artist is given the gift to bring anything to life, there are no rules! @atelieagerbo2 has a very similar approach, where it is all about focusing on emotions and telling stories through art.

For artists like @mari_brown_virtanen, their inspiration comes from their background and their roots. The Scandinavian culture itself is quite rich, which includes the tales of the Vikings that ruled the sea at their time. Moreover, the Scandinavian countries themselves are immersed in such natural beauty, that if you live in such a landscape, it’s impossible to not be inspired by the terrain and paint it all over your canvas. There are many other artists who also find inspiration in the rugged beauty of nature!

Some artists use their art to convey a deeper meaning to their audience. Life has its ups and downs, it’s filled with darkness and light, hope and shadow, and as @dreaming.of.flora mentions, art can be used to convey those “ebbs and flows” that are part of our life.

For some, it is the impermanence of life itself. Just like we take photographs to capture a moment in our life, artists do the very same, except they utilize their imagination and skills to freeze a single frame on their canvas. There’s a certain beauty about painting a single moment with your brush, or immortalizing the face of someone you passed by on the street, never to see them again. These are the tiny, but impactful things, which make you want to go back to your canvas again and again!

For artists it’s important to be self-aware of the work they do and the decisions they make. Why did they choose to make something and not the other? Was it something they saw or felt that inspired their style? Having such self-awareness can actually help you better understand your art and your style. It helps you as you sit down in your studio to create another masterpiece, and in a way, it is something that can improve your work in the future as well. So, look around you, what is it that inspires you as an artist?

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