Artists Share What Inspires Them
When it comes to art, inspiration — or the quest to find it — is a perspiration-producing exercise for three out of four artists (76 percent). The difficulty, they revealed, is inspiration’s tendency to come in waves.
That’s the main conclusion from a survey of 500 artists commissioned by Blick Art Materials in November 2012.
What’s an artist to do? About one-third (32 percent) habitually monitor their surroundings in an attempt to “ignite that spark.” One in five (23 percent) hunt for thought-provoking perspectives. And a lucky 16 percent don’t find inspiration at all — it finds them.
In response to these survey results, Blick — the country’s largest and oldest supplier of fine art materials — has announced its “Inspiration Series.” This series of online and offline events is designed to connect artists with experts and ideas to motivate their next masterpiece.
No matter their skill level, artists are always seeking inspiration for their next project. Blick understands that and is dedicated to providing artists with fresh ideas.
Blick believes the world would be a better place with more artists, and has a long legacy of supporting them. Founded in 1911, the company is in its third generation of family ownership. Despite its 100-year-old roots, however, Blick is in tune with where artists and hobbyists are today, and has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
For its first Inspiration Series event, Blick hosted a live Facebook chat in January 2013 with renowned professional artist Lori McNee, dubbed a Twitter Powerhouse by The Huffington Post. The hour-long chat entitled “The Blank Canvas” was full of helpful tips for finding and cultivating inspiration.
“When I go ‘blank’ or need to refuel my own artistic inspiration, I enjoy surfing images on the Web,” McNee said during the chat. “I love to use Pinterest as a way to bookmark the sites and photos that inspire me. But when I really feel really bored or ‘stuck,’ I often will try something new!”
Almost every artist Blick surveyed (98 percent) is open to exploring new techniques and materials with a bit of direction. In fact, when asked what inspires them, artists ranked “discovering new methods” higher than music, friends, and travel. Thirty-nine percent of artists reported that trying new things is one of the best ways to improve creativity.
Of course, trying new things presents its own challenges, both logistical and psychological. McNee encouraged artists to press forward.
“It takes courage to try something new,” she said.
The survey also revealed artists’ thoughts about the best thing about being an artist. Top answers included having a creative outlet (29 percent) and following one’s passion (28 percent).
The hardest thing? Making time for one’s craft (35 percent). McNee addressed this, too, encouraging artists to create a structured plan for growth.
“Create an action plan by writing down your goals and reviewing them often,” she said. “Visualize where you would like to see yourself and your art career in one year, then in five years. Think big, but start small. Small decisions are important for your long-term success.”
For its next “Inspiration Series” events, Blick will host free art classes in select stores across the country, taught by established professional artists and designed to give beginners and experts alike a chance to learn new things, meet other artists, and ask questions.
Blick Art Materials is one of the largest and oldest providers of art supplies in the United States. Its products cater to the full spectrum of artists — from the youngest child ready to scribble with his or her first crayon to well-known, gallery-represented professionals. The company’s extensive selection, competitive prices, and superior customer service make Blick the choice for professional and amateur artists, art educators, architects, designers, students, hobbyists, or anyone requiring quality art materials for work or pleasure. Visit www.dickblick.com for more information.