I was recently asked what inspired my artwork and as I sat to write the reply I realized there was no one answer. There has been so many things in my life that have lead me to where I am in my artwork at this moment. So much inspires us as we go through life everyday, some that we are conscious of and some that we are not. The sight of a rusty fence, a beautiful antique cabinet, the smell of rain, or a song on the radio.
For me that song was Uprising by Muse. I was working in a high-pressure corporate management job that was sucking the life out of me. It should have been a creative job but being in management, all the rules, and forms, and meetings left no room for creativity. I secretly nicknamed the Vice President the Soul Sucker. I had a really long drive to and from work every day where I began to imagine a rebellion of souls that could rise up and take their creativity back. Like in the song lyrics, by Muse, “Interchanging mind control, Come let the revolution take it's toll, If you could flick a switch and open your third eye, You'd see that…”
Creating the Steampunk Soul dolls brought together everything that inspired me. No rules and the endless possibilities of mixed media, allowed me to use my love of painting and sculpting. I could incorporate the vintage items that I love so much. After the rules and confinement of the corporate world I decided that I wanted no rules in my artwork. Who says that they had to have 2 eyes? Or two arm? Why couldn’t one be a beautiful antique key? The feeling of freedom was liberating!
I began to see things in a different perspective. What was once just a rusty spring became an arm. Vintage metal sewing machine feet, became…well feet, lol. Gears and clock parts became eyes to show how the Souls were part machine. How the Soul Sucker’s castle of corporation had industrialized them. Walking through a flea market or antique store was a treasure trove of ideas. Objects that I had no idea what they were originally, found new purpose in my artwork. I started digging through my husband’s toolbox. You won’t believe all the cool things you can find in there!! Soon after that, family and friends were bringing me items that they thought I might be able to use in my artwork. Boxes now arrive from Internet friends which I LOVE! It’s like a whole treasure box! The Souls evolved into their rebellious army, helping me to take back my creativity and freeing me of the soul sucker and the castle of corporation.
So the next time someone asks you what inspired you to create your artwork, think of all the things that came together over your creative journey, I think you will be surprised to find that it wasn’t just that one song, or that one paint color but a combination of experiences that led you to the place you are right now in your creativity.