The Artful Holiday Class: Week One
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From the Archives: What Does Inspiration Mean?

Hey friends!  I'm taking the rest of the week off from the blog.  Steve is out of town and I've got my hands full.  While I'm busy chasing down a toddler whose main ambition in life seems to be to run away from me, I thought I'd share some great content from the archives. This post originally appeared on the blog on May 13, 2016.


I often post art journal pages that I've created or that other people have created and say something like, "I hope you see something that inspires you."  But today it occurred to me: What does that mean?  I can only speak for myself, but usually when I see something that "inspires" me, it's usually a technique I want to try or a pattern I really like or an idea that I want to make my own.  Being inspired by something is a step beyond liking it.  There are things that I like that don't motivate me to do anything.  Something that inspires me, motivates me to create.  Today I thought I'd share some pages from the #artjournaleveryday hashtag and explain exactly how they inspire me.  My hope is that by spelling it out, perhaps it will jump start your own art making process!  (Also, feel free to share how any of the pieces I'm sharing inspire you!)

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: azamyazamy

This is a piece that is totally not the style I create in, but I love the three petaled leaf/flowers.  Are they leaves or are they flowers?  Clovers?  I don't know.  I like them as leaves.  And I like the way they drape all over the place.  Definitely putting "three petaled leaves" in my memory bank to try out in my journal.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: carolyn_dube

This is a funny kind of inspiration.  It's not actually about what she's making in the photo.  Rather, it's a reminder to myself that taking photos of the art making process is sometimes as lovely and valuable as the finished art.  I'm putting this bit of inspiration in my mental rolodex.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: catseatdogsmakes

If you've seen any of my art journal pages, you know that I love a dashed line.  Desperately.  I also adore this take on the dashed line -- almost teardrop shaped.  I want to try making some less squared off dash lines in my art journal.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: gemmavies

Oh baby, I love this lightbulb.  It looks paper pieced to me -- even the background.  Proof that paper piecing doesn't have to be cutesy.  It can be really cool and hip looking!  I want to try adding some trendy paper pieced designs into my art journal too!

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: happypup0143

I love text and this simple sentence has me riveted.  Perhaps it's the bird or the book text, but it reminds me of the poem that Henry Crawford reads to Fanny with the line "I can't get out said the starling" in Mansfield Park.  After seeing it, I'm inspired to use some simple quotes from literature that resonate with me.  (I know that the quote in the photo isn't from literature, but that's how inspiration works. It's kind of a crooked line.)

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: madebyciara_

What bold simplicity.  I love it!  Again, I think it's paper piecing rather than painting.  Let's call it collage.  I'm inspired to create a spread with Tetris pieces now, using unusual colors.  I love this whole idea and I can't wait to break out the scissors or maybe the ScanNCut to give it a go!

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: haleyca

Lots that inspires here: the black and white is great. Sometimes I think I use color as a crutch.  I love the "u" shaped doodles.  They were a common shape in the Aboriginal Art I saw in Australia and I want to incorporate that shape into my work.  I also love the text with the empty inside.  I usually feel like I have to color text in.  I like leaving it empty.  It's powerful.  To sum up: I want to create empty letters, use that "u" doodle, and get some black and white going in my art journal.

from the Balzer Designs Blog: Art Journal Every Day #artjournal #artjournaleverydayartist: studio318

I don't know about you, but I see people in this sketch.  My art journal has become very "finished art" rather than sketchy.  I'm totally inspired by this piece to create some sketches that aren't quite so controlled and that embrace the possibilities the viewer brings to the table.  

How about you?  What are you going to create in your art journal inspired by one of these pieces?

Thanks for stopping by!