Inspiration Online

Because so much of the work I do is online, I can’t afford to get sucked into the world of endless links. That means, I’m positive, that I miss a LOT. And, again, it’s like it is with books: I don’t like looking at stuff that’s like what I do, which means I hardly ever look at art quilts or altered garments. I also tend to get bummed out when I see image after image of the same sorts of things, as if there are no new ideas anywhere and everyone is doing the same exact stuff. The ideas I love are odd, quirky ones that translate from whatever-medium-it-is into fabric and altering clothes.

For instance: I love looking at cool and funky outfits that give me ideas for how to alter clothes I own or find at the thrift. I’m not so much interested in garments that have already been altered because the things most people do to embellish their clothes are not things that appeal to me. This is something you might want to keep in mind: it’s often better to look at things that inspire you to make a leap from whatever-it-is than it is to look at things that are finished pieces. For instance: if you want to paint flowers in watercolor, sure, you’ll want to see how other people have done it. But instead of spending lots of time looking at completed floral watercolors, you’ll get more out of the looking if you look at actual flowers, or online photos of flowers, or sketches of flowers. It will keep you from comparing what you’re doing to what others are doing, and it will remove the temptation to believe that there’s only one way to do Watercolors of Flowers. Plus no one can accuse you of copying.

I like to look at odd clothes and people’s sketchbooks and very odd things that someone took time to think up and bring into existence. Here are a few of my current haunts. One of my favorite places to look at cool and funky outfits is on Lorimarsha Sandstedt’s Flickr set, “Worn.” Lori alters garments, but not at all like I do. She does fabulous work and is in my book, Creative Time & Space. What I like to look at is what she finds at her thrift and how she wears it with other pieces. This gives me ideas for how I might cut apart and put together something I already have, or how I might embroider something. Of course, it also makes me want to go thrifting with Lori.

Another is here, at I have the book, Stylelikeu, and squealed when I opened the page to Natalie Gibson, whom you can see here. My mind whirls. [If anyone out there knows how to get in touch with her, please let me know–I’ve searched and searched, with no luck. I’d love to talk to her!]

While I don’t sketch or keep a visual journal, I get lots of energy from looking at other people’s sketchbooks. Here’re my current favorites, by Mattias Adolfsson. Be sure to click on the numbers on the left; those will take you to even more sketchbook goodness. You can embiggen them and really see the wonderful details.

I also love Andrea Joseph’s Sketchblog. And The Fabric of Meditation, by Sarah Lechner. There are a few other links on the right sidebar on my blog, Notes from the Voodoo Cafe, especially if you like street fashion.

Some of my favorite sites are those that give me ideas about how someone’s creative brain works. Here, for instance. Oh, and here: The Look Book archives. I’d love to hang out with them and listen while they talked to people on the street.

Like I said, I don’t spend a lot of time surfing. And, really, I don’t need to: a couple of images, and my brain is off and running. Often, that’s all it will take for you, too. Find some sites that do it for you and bookmark them, and you’ll always have somewhere to stop by for a hit of creative energy. Just don’t get lost in The Land of Links~~


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3 Responses to Inspiration Online

  1. a while ago you posted a website about older people that kept their personal style….i loved looking at it….but i lost the link….if you could can you repost that like. and just to let you know i learn and see something new from you everytime i look at what you write and what you do….you are one creative women..


  2. Joyce says:

    Such good advise! I find it the same…I love to look at other art journaler’s pages, but I’m drawn to people who do very different styles from mine. And I rarely make a doll (not since my daughter was about 6!), but Ann Wood and Mimi Kirchner inspire me to no end! I’ve never been tatooed or hennaed, but I look at those designs a lot, and lately I see that influence creeping into journal pages. When I started knitting again using vibrant handdyed yarns, my artwork seemed to also become more vibrant.

    My life in general also inspires…I’m an antique dealer, so old bits of things are creeping into my artwork. I like to travel and meet lots of travelers shopping in my shop…how charming our little town is when you see it through the eyes of someone who rarely leaves the city, or is from a vastly different country…and I draw it that way.