Finding Inspiration during a Lockdown

Needless to say, these last few months have been pretty devoid of the things we do that spark inspiration. From watching to many movies and series, to wearing pyjamas for the last four weeks, It has been hard to be inspired by the same four walls and a lack of new stimuli.

But despite all of this, I have had moments of genuine inspiration (dotted in amongst the dossing around) that have been productive and created a sense of normality. So for this post I want to share a few ideas and ways to approach finding new inspiration that helped me generate new work during lockdown.

Number 1: Time to play

Though it may seem a strange thing to try, I have found that the best way to find new inspiration for me has been to try things I wouldn't consider, especially if I am already on a journey with an idea or project. From new materials, to different mediums or changing up themes, all these things really help to create something new.

In the height of a moment when I felt like I was somewhere between crying and laughing with boredom, I decided to order some coloured perspex and acetate. I wasn't quite sure where I was going with this (it was more of an impulse buy) but I was excited by the prospect of using a new material.

Once the acetate and perspex arrived, I decided to do the simplest thing I could do with From making mini skylines to plaiting them, I photographed the results and was pleasantly surprised. Firstly, the colours were cool, and I'm a sucker for colour, but more importantly they were the kick-starter for a project that could not have come about without a few days spent essentially messing about. So the moral of this story: mess about, play, have fun, the time is never really wasted.

Playing with perspex

Number 2: Look at Artists with a different Style from your own

This idea definitely makes me cringe, especially the further away from my comfort zone I get. I think we all have an aesthetic that we like, or themes that we find interesting, so diving into another way of seeing the world can be challenging. For instance, I don't have a strong connection to video art. I love animation, music, special effects, but when I used to think of video art, I didn't quite understand it.

However, ironically, watching a lot of video content online over the lockdown has given me an appreciation for cinematography and video content that I never really had before. Seeing the colour, lighting and sound choices in movies made me curious about video art. This began a dive into short films, visual poems and digital art, which I probably would not have explored if it were not for the lockdown.

This journey has been so valuable and eye opening in more ways than you can imagine. At first I was sceptical, more out of a lack of understanding, but it grew on me. I am now experimenting with digital and video art, when a year ago I probably would have shrugged of the idea. It definitely takes a bit of a leap to try something new, where you have to learn and discover new things as you go along, but it has been so much fun, and exciting to explore new possibilities: one hundred percent worth all the hours on youtube.

A freeze frame from some video ideas I have been playing with.

Number 3: Change up the Colours

Colour...a very personal thing, we all see and experience it differently. My sense of beauty when it comes to colour will sure enough be another persons nightmare. I love working with bold and heavily saturated colour, the more the better, so the idea of incorporating black and white into my work isn't something that would come to me straight away.

As I have been working over this period, I have felt a bit like I was searching for a certain sense of balance, contrast and rhythm within the colours I use, (I still don't think that I am there yet), but changing up the colours has brought me much closer.

It began with geometry, the more geometry in the composition, the more I felt like there weren't enough colours to express the ideas within the piece, It was frustrating and confusing. This was the point where I remembered colouring in squares in a maths book with a biro at school, and the sharpness of the stark contrast of black and white, not really what I had been doing, but I decided to give it a try.

I am definitely still figuring this out, but there is something that I now really love about working with both the juxtaposition of black next to white, alongside all the other colours in their myriad hues. It seems that sometimes looking in the complete opposite direction can help push ideas further in new and exciting ways.

A section of an experiment when I first started introducing more black and white into my work.

This will be the last post of 2020! It has been a crazy year to say the least, and if you are in the UK then more time in lockdown is on the cards. So I wish everyone well in the new year and hope that this post helps to get you through the next hurdle.

Thank you for all of your support!!!

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