Thursday, April 15, 2010

How-to Thursday - Finding Inspiration in the Most Unlikely Places

What inspires you?  It's an easy question but one without an easy answer.  Inspiration comes to each artist in different ways.  Inspiration can come through color or it can be found in shapes.  The sound of the ocean crashing against the beach or tree branches silhouetted against a night sky are timeless sources of inspiration for many.

For me, the final piece of the design inspiration puzzle is definitly my hubby.  It's great to have someone who looks at life differently than you do.   I see beautiful flowers with amazing colors and what does he see?  A high pollen count.  His idea of beautiful flowers are the ones found on vegetable plants. 

Please don't misunderstand me.  I am serious when I say that I couldn't complete my designs without him.  He is the voice of reason in my artistic world.  He is the "nuts-and-bolts" of creating the table display for the craft shows we attend and he is the genius who can fix any computer mess I find myself in.  When I go into panic mode, he is the one who helps me stay focused so I can get everything done.

But my hubby will tell you that creative he is not.  He has asked me - repeatedly - to not "drag" him into these "artistic" conversations. Sometimes though, I just can't help myself and I ask him:

"What do you think of my new design?"

The design in question on this day was one that combined my love of winter (snowmen) and the beach. It was a cute design, nothing too fancy--just a smiling snowman standing between two palm trees on a beach with the blue ocean in the background. All I really needed to hear was, "It's cute, sweetheart." Instead, what I got was,

"Snowmen can't live at the beach. They would melt."

So much for encouragement.

So I began to think. And stew. And get frustrated. And then it came to me...prove him wrong. But how? He was right. Snowmen would melt at the beach. You can't make one out of sand because then it would be a "sandman" and not the effect I was going for. I could draw a little freezer for him to stand in, but that just took away from the cuteness of the design. I could draw a beach umbrella for him to stand under. Made the whole thing look too busy. I knew this was a great design. I knew that people would like it. I KNEW IT would sell. I KNEW...

Sand dollars. They are round-ish. They are white. And you could stack them up in the shape of snowman. HAH! I had my answer. As the rest of my family slept (did I mention that this conversation was as hubby was heading upstairs to bed?) I worked on turning sand dollars into snowmen.

The next morning, there were eight glasses all arranged on the end of the table. The snowmen were patiently staring at the stairs as we waited for hubby to come down. After a while (I am the morning person in the family) my patience had worn thin and I pestered him until he came down to look at my work. And I knew I had a winner when he smiled and said,

"These won't melt."

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