SongS of the Week

Sorry, guys! I know it's been a few weeks since I did a "Song of the Week" post. To make it up to you, I'm going to do two songs in one post ...

This week, I randomly decided to binge on Calvin Harris' music. I had always loved the dreamy quality of his songs, and I had realized a lot of time had passed since the last time I blasted them on the radio in my car or on my iPhone. 
Sometimes, whether I'm drawing or going about my daily life activities like getting ready for work, it's just necessary to get lost in music and allow it to take you to a different world, and I feel like his songs have that effect.

Songs of the Week: "Feels" and "Slide" by Calvin Harris

Song of the Week

What's my top song of this week, you ask? Well, here it is:

Song of the Week: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!

Lately, I've found myself playing the song over and over as it acts like an instant mood booster. I've also noticed that it helps me get into my creative mode, but not in the way you'd expect. I don't mean creative in the usual sense of doing something artsy like drawing or dancing -- I personally believe creativity not only can exist in the artsy way but also while you're doing everyday, non-artsy tasks. Every morning, for instance, I wash my face, put on antioxidant serum, rub on my daily moisturizer and facial oil and then add on my makeup. With certain random songs like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," I've been able to get in the zone and actually enjoy doing what is usually seen as totally mundane ... And I did not expect to share part of my morning routine in detail with you, but there you go. :)

Finding Inspiration

Sometimes, whether it's at the end of a work day or after I've drawn several portraits on a Saturday, my brain feels fried. That's when I know I need to take a break and look for inspiration. I always rely on this to recharge my brain and help propel me toward making more drawings. 

By looking for inspiration, I of course mean scrolling through Instagram (I'm obsessed) for any artsy images or specifically looking through Instagram profiles of artists I admire (some of whom are below). You'll notice right away that all the artists here have styles and media completely different from mine. Looking at their pieces feels super refreshing for my brain after it has focused so much for so long solely on charcoal and paper.

I included just one image per artist in this post but I definitely encourage you to see more of their work on their websites (or Instagram pages if you're like me) if you want to be inspired as well. :)


KELLY BEEMAN
(Fun fact: I have this image as my desktop photo at home and at work!)

KellyBeeman.jpg
Gill+Button_katarina.jpg

DONNA ADI
(As an artist and coffee fanatic, I very closely identified with this specific piece.)

donnaadi.jpeg

Inspiration Running Through the Fingers

Originally posted on February 3, 2016.

Where does inspiration come from? Does it only come from within, from your surroundings or are you supposed to maintain a balance between the two?

These questions have come in my mind a lot lately, both in terms of inspiration in general and specifically when it comes to embarking on the road to creating your next art piece. When I find myself in such a predicament (exaggeration, I know), I like to find inspiration in... inspirational quotes. Below is one of my favorites:

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
~George Bernard Shaw


Maybe, it turns out, the answer to the question of where to find inspiration is the act of following your instinct, listening to your gut and letting go of the fear of making any mistakes. Just go with the flow that the natural movement of your hand brings, and watch your artwork come to life on paper.

What Monet Taught Me

Originally posted on January 10, 2016.

Yesterday, I visited the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) so I could feed my inner Impressionism fanatic and see the "Intimate Impressionism" exhibition. The space was super crowded, super thrilling and super surreal. There were several instances where I found myself feeling the urge to touch the paintings (I didn't). I'm that crazy about Impressionism.

I spent time studying each painting like Renoir's "Picking Flowers" (1875) and Cezanne's "Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit" (1900), admiring the vivid, quick brushstrokes and the multiple sets of colors that blended into one another. I even went so far as to mentally jot down ideas for how I can possibly go about my future drawings.

As one discovers time and time again, inspiration is truly everywhere. You never know when you're going to come across it, and when you do you have to make the most of it. When I came across this particular source of inspiration, I pretty much sucked the life out of it... as in my eyes and feet were no longer able to function properly after my hour and a half in the space. There was one Monet (my favorite Impressionist artist) piece featured in the exhibit. The ideas I grabbed from this particular painting have to do with the movement of the hand that brought it to life. Usually, I maintain a careful balance between being precise and "winging it" (aka directing the charcoal without thinking or planning ahead) while I'm drawing. I believe that if I only focused on one of those two sides, my drawings would be boring and without any element of surprise. When I look at the brushstrokes done in Monet's piece, however, I wonder what would happen if I leaned only a little bit more toward the "winging it" end of the spectrum.

I plan on experimenting with this thought as I draw my next piece. Stay tuned!

Signing off,

Shirene