Adventures in Arting Podcast: Creativation 2019
Dina Wakley Pouring Medium - Ranger Challenge 2019

Inspiration: Iris van Herpen Spring 2019 Couture Collection

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Where do you find inspiration?"  I've given a lot of different answers because I've drawn inspiration from a vast number of places over the years.  But I realize now that the fact of the matter is: I'm inspired by living my life.


I think artistic inspiration has to be part of who you are; the things you like already.  For instance, I like looking at fashion pictures.  Therefore I find lots of the patterns and colors and textures in fashion exciting and interesting and inspiring.  Someone else might have no interest in fashion, but they love looking at nature.  And so nature becomes their inspiration.  We might even both end up at the same place in our art, but we've sparked from different sources.

Along the same lines, we can't all live the dream art life where every day at every moment is all about the making of art.  There are errands and work and daily demands.  But, we can choose how to view those daily tasks.  I can sit in the doctor's office and think about the pattern that I see in the jar of cotton swabs.  I can walk the aisles of the supermarket and snap a photo of a color combination that feels unusual.  This is my life and it is inspiring, even at its most banal, because I choose to view it that way.

You see, the only thing that is unique about me, as an artist, is me.  That's it.  Who I am.  How I see the world.  The things that happen to me.  The choices I make.  So, I have to find inspiration in living my life -- whether it's the things I do, the things I read, the things I see, the things I like.

Of course, like exercising and eating healthy, all of this is easier said than done.  So, I thought I'd start an occasional blog series where I share an inspiration photo and the artwork I created from it!  Here's the first one:

Designer Iris van Herpen put together a gorgeous collection for Paris Fashion Week, including some garments that have faces in them!

I loved almost all of her pieces, but this one really grabbed me:

And so I decided to translate some of the things I loved about it onto paper:

And then I decided to let go of the dress and see what inspired me about the piece I had just created and create something from that.  This is what I came up with:

And here are the two pieces side-by-side:

Some things you might want to take away from this:

  • Inspiration isn't always a straight line.
  • Inspiration doesn't mean "copying" -- it's a riff on what you see.
  • Keep going.  Too many people stop at okay and so they never get to better.  I could probably spend a week exploring the ideas in these paintings and not get bored.

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. If you get a chance, watch the video of these garments moving.  It's lovely to see them bouncing.  (Also, glow-in-the-dark shoes!)