Finding Inspiration for Art: Road Trips

Last Friday I wrote about finding inspiration in magazines, and today I’m thinking about road trips. My husband loves to drive–he likes to drive anywhere, even if it’s just an aimless drive to look at the countryside. He’s a photographer (you can see his photographs in our book, Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat), so he really likes to stop and take photos. As a life-long West Texan, he especially appreciates metal ranch signs, and this summer we kept passing this one:

Freeman-Zachery Tres Coyotes 1

When he showed me the photo, I knew I could figure out a way to make it into a t-shirt for him. It was too detailed for a cotton jersey appliqué–the snouts and legs and letters would ravel. But it would work perfectly as a stencil, with fabric paint, so that’s what I did:

Freeman-Zachery Tres Coyotes 2

He has a lot of fun wearing this because people ask about it, and then when he tells about the photo, people tell about their own favorite ranch signs. And wouldn’t that make a great road trip: traveling the back roads, photographing ranch signs? And making a whole slew of personal t-shirts in the process.

(Needless to say, I wouldn’t reproduce this shirt or try to sell it–the artwork is someone else’s work. But for a t-shirt for my husband, it’s perfect. Don’t even think about trying to sell things you make from something someone else created. We’re not even going to go there, right?)

Living the Creative LifeFor more about finding ideas, check out Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspirations from Working Artists. 


Ricë is the author of Living the Creative LifeCreative Time and Spaceand Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.

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