What Inspires You? (Part One)

It’s cold out. Really cold. And I am feeling a bit stir crazy. So I got to watching movies-- lots of movies, and that is when I started feeling inspired and thinking about what inspires us as artists and as people. So I decided to reach out to some of my nearest and dearest and see what inspires them. This is what they had to say. 

Anna Spearman, SW CO., Teacher and DIY Guru

Anna Spearman

(LEFT) BICYCLE PRINTS ON OLD MAPS, (RIGHT) REPURPOSED MIRROR, COFFEE TABLE AND REFINISHED CHAIRS. ALL FOUND ON DIFFERENT TRIPS TO THE SALVATION ARMY

   Bench made out of repurposed snowboards

 Bench made out of repurposed snowboards

Creativity is an escape for me. A way for me to get out of my head, forget the thoughts that are constantly bouncing around in there and focus wholly on one thing; my project at hand. Being creative is a way for me to relax. When I’m working on something I become totally consumed with the details; the brush strokes, patterns, the design, allowing everything else to fall away. In these moments, when I’m not distracted by my thoughts, worries, or just daily life in general, I’m at peace. It’s almost a form of meditation with the end result being a happier more relaxed me and a piece of art that reflects a small personal journey while also bringing life and happiness to the new space where it resides.

A lot of times I start projects inspired by something I’ve seen. Throughout the process they naturally take on a life of their own and the finished product is unique. I love making homemade gifts that are one-of-a-kind, from the heart and personalized for the recipient. It feels good to give something you know your friend will enjoy because it was created specifically with them in mind.

Sometimes my inspiration comes strictly out of need. I enjoy having pieces in the house that serve a purpose but also have a story to tell. Whether it is a blank wall that needs some pizzazz, an entryway bench or (lack of) a dining room table, I’m constantly searching for my next endeavor. As a result, our house is filled with projects that tell a story and also have a lot more meaning than if we had gone out and purchased every item that was needed in our home.

So no matter where my inspiration comes from, creativity is a great outlet for me to express myself, it provides a necessary retreat and it’s a fun way to keep trying new things.
— Anna Spearman


Mindy McPeak, Metro Detroit, MI., Illustrator.
 www.mindymcpeak.com

  (TOP LEFT) “TANGLED IN THE FRAY” OIL ON CANVAS, (TOP RIGHT) "SUNRISE CITYSCAPE"  DIGITAL (BOTTOM CENTER) “THIS IS OUR CITY” DIGITAL

(TOP LEFT) “TANGLED IN THE FRAY” OIL ON CANVAS, (TOP RIGHT) "SUNRISE CITYSCAPE"  DIGITAL (BOTTOM CENTER) “THIS IS OUR CITY” DIGITAL

It’s hard for me to put into words exactly what inspires me because for me, inspiration seems to hit so randomly.
I will say I think I see the world a little differently sometimes… I’m not sure everyone thinks power lines are as beautiful as I do.
I love crumbling brick buildings. I love wrists… and the way fingers bend. I love cigarette smoke (how it looks, not smells) and I love that time of night when it’s not quite dark yet and the sky is a perfect brilliant blue and all the windows of the houses are already lit up and glowing warm yellow. I love women. And flowing lines. And plants.
Honestly though, sometimes I’ll go for days just chugging along through life and then one day it’s like I’m randomly high on how gorgeous everything is and I can’t stop smiling and I can’t remotely begin to get down on paper the ideas that are filling my head.
That is probably considered a mental illness but hey. It works for me.
— Mindy McPeak
  (TOP Left) "lightening bugs" digital, (top right) "acorn babies" Graphite, (bottom center) "wanderlust" graphite and digital

(TOP Left) "lightening bugs" digital, (top right) "acorn babies" Graphite, (bottom center) "wanderlust" graphite and digital

These are some of the people who inspire me the most and I hope that they inspired you too.

Please comment on what inspires you. I would love to read what you have to share.