Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Looking back and looking in

Blog Party!
This week Inspiration Avenue the Etsy Group and creative challenge blog (of which I am a member) is celebrating hitting 500 followers with a little party. We have giveaways and something creative for you to join in with. Our challenge this week is to share what gives you the inspiration to create.

Now, let me tell you a story... Over two years ago I came across these creative ladies when they held another blog party on a similar theme. I shared what stirs my soul to write and paint and before I knew it had found myself with a whole heap of new friends keen to support me on my artistic journey. With their encouragement I opened my own Etsy shop, became a member of their wonderful tribe and sold some art! Without these wonderfully kind and caring folk, I doubt I would have had the confidence to keep trying new techniques, pushing myself and listening to the Muse inside me who was begging to be let out to play.

So, my Inspiration is YOU! Thank you both team mates and the wonderfully talented artists and creatives who join in every week with our challenges - your work never ceases to amaze me! I hope you don't think it's a cop out, but rather than create something new for this week, I really wanted to share again what started it all over two years ago. If I have time later in the week, I may add a few more to this list, but really want to get to that party right now... I just can't wait!

5 degrees of inspiration (originally posted 1st August 2009)

I've been invited to a wonderful party - fancy dress of course! Come dressed in your five favourite inspirations... It's not too late to join in, grab your 'drive' and journey over...

Inspiration. The word seems to brush gently as it passes your lips,
gossamer soft and strangely enticing.

Primo - My Muse

She is surely a magical thing but playful too. My secret self who will creep up on me when least expected, and don’t think she follows any rules. No way! Inspiration makes an appearance only when she wants to. It’s her terms or no terms.

Inspiration is my muse; she is what turns a dull day into a fine one; a pile of old paper into a work of art and a tiny germ of an idea into a full-blown pandemic of explosive creativity! Sometimes I just have to sit at a keyboard or in front of some art materials and she will weave her spells. Occasionally she makes me work a bit harder for her services. However, the time she pays me most visits (the little minx) is late at night when I am trying to sleep. POP goes the bubble of idea she sends me scuttling into my brain and spreading out its interesting tendrils, exploring a myriad possibilities. Will I remember by morning? Possibly not, so my muse gives me a quick nudge, turns on the bedside lamp and presents me with my beautiful floral notebook into which I diligently record her delightful suggestions.

Secondo - Artists & Creatives

The creativity of others – whether it be a beautiful ACEO on Etsy or gazing in awe in front of the great Masters. Standing in front of the Canalettos in the National Gallery in London, I once had what can only be described as a moment of self-discovery. It is almost impossible to put into words. I felt uplifted and suddenly in touch with lost emotion, with the desire to create and dig for soul treasure.

Websites like Etsy had me dreaming and drooling until suddenly I stopped thinking "if only" and instead dived in head first into a box of art supplies. I came out sticky, paint-stained, crumpled, creased, frustrated, exhilarated but above all motivated. No matter the result, it's the journey that counts. It doesn't have to rank alongside Canaletto, Rosetti or Monet. It just has to please me.

My soul is like a sponge soaked in all this inspirational juice. Everywhere I turn I'm drenched in showers of it. Thank you to all you lovely creative people.
Terzo - Italy

What magic lifts from the fragrant hills? What secrets lie behind honeyed walls and terracotta tile? What secret elixir inhabits the vino rosso? Maybe it is the incurable romantic in me, but there is something timelessly enticing about the land of Romeo and his sweetheart. Artists and writers across the centuries have been drawn in mesmerised and, growing up in such surroundings how can you fail but to become Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Puccini or even Ferrari?

The first time I sat open-mouthed in front of the film adaptation of the E M Forster classic, A Room with a View, I was in love. I only have to catch a passing glimpse of rolling Tuscan countryside and I am reaching for paintbrush. Ah if only I could truly capture that essence.

Quarto - Feedback

Well, I admit that no one really likes criticism but if ever anything was guaranteed to goad me into action to improve anything I have created then a little niggling dig is sure to rile the Muse into action - providing of course that you see their point of view (there's always a caveat!). "I'll show them..."

But thankfully the scales of happiness do sometimes swing in our favour. How wonderful to receive praise... but is it really as good at kick-starting the Muse? Does it not put extra pressure to out-perform or at the very least equal?

And who can ever resist the pull of a little healthy competition too?

And now alas my inner critic is chastising me. How can I possibly post this without an appropriate picture? I don't have any artwork that quite epitomises the inspiring power of a few choice words. No, not excellent.

Quinto - Heston Blumenthal

Just watch and tell me you're not inspired! Anything is possible. Pure genius.

Heston is arguably one of the world's greatest chefs and undoubtedly the most imaginative.

He is a man who thrives on creativity, cut him in half (not recommended) and he'll have it written through him. It doesn't matter whether he creates culinary concoctions, advertisements, films or breeze blocks. It's about having the nerve to fire up that creativity with inspiration from the most unlikely sources; never being afraid to try something different and, possibly most important, keeping at it until you get the results you're after - it may not be exactly what you set out to do at the start, but it's giving people what they didn't know they wanted - and boy do they want it!

Thank you for the invite. I'm having fun so far, but a little lonely at the party on my own... Who will turn up next and what costumes will they be wearing?


  1. Nicely written and illustrated! Valerie

  2. *no matter what the result...it's the journey that counts!* I subscribe to that statement for sure!! Great post!!!

  3. Wow this is so powerfully written and threads are so universal in our own interpretation of the Muse, and Heston I have a crush on, that man is pure genius.

  4. The bonds we forge here in Blogland truly are amazing. Visiting like minded souls and supportive friends are like having playdates for our Muses!

    Love the back story...and congrats on 2 years of your creative journey!

  5. Your journey has been inspiring in itself. Well done!

  6. What a beautiful post about your artistic journey. I've learned so much about you my new friend. Thank you for sharing. Off to explore!

  7. I am so glad I found your blog through IA. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  8. Great post Lisa. I love your gorgeous muse. Your ideas and memories. You are open and talented, a natural fit with IA.
    Can you believe still having issues with blogger?
    Love gemma

  9. Great illustrations, and such a thoughtful post. I have to agree with your choice of Heston. Such an imaginative and creative person (though my nan thinks he's bonkers!)

    Your muse is beautiful

  10. That is a great post. Love to hear what inspires people and your muse looks wonderful! :)

  11. Blogging has opened up a whole world of art friends for me too. I really enjoyed your post of inspirations and hadn't seen it before.


  12. Enjoyed reading your artistic journey post and what inspires you!

  13. The writer came out. . . . I like it. Blessings, Janet PPF

  14. Every week I look forward to seeing your images and reading your words... I love how you put it all together and it just flows so beautifully. Loved reading about your journey xx

  15. Enjoyed this post, thank you for reposting, your muse also gets thanked!

  16. Wow Lisa, you have such a way with words! I barely wrote anything with my addition to the party but I do not think I could ever write as elegantly as you. I love your "Inspiration", she is beautiful.
    Hugs and blessings.

  17. Your well written words are as meaningful today as they were two years ago. And you have NO idea how many times you have inspired me. I can even show you examples! So I may not be wearing a party dress, but I'm here to enjoy and appreciate the inspiration!

  18. Lisa this is such a beautifully written and illustrated post - you so often say everything I want to say but better! Thanks for continually inspiring me with your words and pictures :) x

  19. Leave it to you Lisa to take the challenge to new heights! I agree with everything you said about our team and said as much in my own blog. Such a pair of sentimental sillies we Lisa's are:) ♥♥♥

  20. I loved this post my sparkling kindred...beautiful art..the first one Primo..wow....is jaw-dropping gorgeous..LOVE LOve Love it!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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