Inspiration comes from all kinds of sources. Some are fairly foreseeable, a deep blue sky on a spring morning driving down the A303 towards the West Country never fails to inspire. Other times inspiration flashes unexpectedly, perhaps a song in your mind overlaps with overheard conversation on a train. We rely on ideas to get started but we can’t force them to arrive fully formed and on time. You can however arrange situations which might encourage that SPARK to happen, throw yourself in the path of fate and hope for the best.
Many of my own books are made in situ while travelling. ‘Cross-Rhodes’ and ‘The Stones of Porthmeor’ are two examples capturing the colours, light, spontaneous experience of the moment within the pages. For ‘Cross-Rhodes’ I was interested in the layers of history of this deeply historic island in the Eastern Aegean sea. It’s easy to prepare a framework for a book in advance and take it with you, as I did for this book. Other times, as with ‘The Stones of Porthmeor’, ideas happen unexpectedly, perhaps sitting on the beach, for example, when the light is dripping like pink syrup down a Cornish sky, the giant sea worn stones stir your pencil into action.
Many artists have their own peculiar tricks to get ideas flowing. When you can’t book a flight or head down the A303, it’s helpful to turn to a ‘Heros’ list of artists whose work you admire. Between projects or starting to feel flat? These artists always fire up the imagination: Tom Phillips, J. Maizlish, Phillip Hughes, Angie Lewin, Rusell Frampton Nigel Peake, Thomas Hillier, Helen Murgatroyd, George Kirkpatrick, Laura Davidson, Daniel Essig and Brian Dettmer. Artworks aren’t created in a vacuum. We’re inspired by each other to reinvent our influences, ideas, perceptions and experiences through different media and means.