What Inspires You?

In this feature, each month artists share one thing that excites them creatively.

One key piece to support healthy, productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kinds of things stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that fills your creative cup?

If you’d like to be part of this feature, send an email to info@themindfulartist.com. Include a sentence or two about one of your key inspirations. Please include some photos – either to illustrate your inspiration, to share your artwork with us. We especially love pictures of YOU! We want to feature YOU and your work so please send a link to your blog or website or flicker page.

What Inspires You?
Josie Rodriguez

I am often inspired by the obscure or the ordinary, sometimes the everyday.

I honestly think that artists see things differently. I have never imagined that I would ever call myself an artist but here I am creating and making art. When I see something that inspires me, my mind moves in a methodical way, and I begin to write down or sketch ideas. It is an exciting moment and I love how I feel when that happens.

Just today I thought of an idea. I noticed that my body went into a sort of meditative state. I felt calm and quiet and very focused. This especially happens when I create an artist book or assemblage.

There is a quote that says, Creativity Takes Courage. I believe that to be true for me as I take an idea and move it through the process until completion no matter how crazy it seems. Visually I am stimulated by the many designs of nature, emotionally by the events of the world, spiritually by the creativity of others, mentally by what I read or think about.

Josie Rodriguez, San Diego, CA


What Inspires You?
Carol D. Smith

What inspires my figurative art? The joy that comes from those one-of-a-kind life connections to the spirit, energy, and emotional vibes my subjects transmit. But what about landscapes or still lifes? Connect to the stream of ideas or memories evoked by the scene.

While painting my violin handed down to me from my mother, I visualized my mother as a child playing this same violin, and with this connection, my brushstrokes danced!

Carol Smith, California

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Food for Thought: Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter Painting movie last week. Definitely would recommend it if you are interested in painting in general, and his work in particular. I think he is an interesting painter, definitely not one of my favorites, but I rarely miss an opportunity to watch a documentary on an artist.

I have a book of interviews with Richter and his own writings called The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings 1962 – 1993 from which I pulled this month’s quote:

“Pleasure is only one aspect [of painting]. Nothing can be done without it; but if that’s all there is to it, it merely bores and irritates the viewer. The objective side has to come in, through which painting offers something of universal interest: a statement, a new quality, an advance – something the other person can do something with.”

Your thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

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Have you ever gotten paint on your clothes?

Ever gotten paint on a favorite item of clothing, carpet of piece of furniture?

This is hands-down my most popular video on youtube:

This method works for the toughest dried on acrylic paints and mediums as well as oil paints AND it’s a non-toxic, biodegradable product.

Another tip – my husband and I have restored 3 different hundred + year-old homes and I have used this product to safely soak layers and layers of the paint off of intricate hardware.

Andrew Lenz owner of Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz claims it “saved his marriage” after he tracked tar in the house and nothing else he tried would remove it from the carpet.

Hope this helps!

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