I have been teaching various creativity techniques for years, and am interested in where we get our ideas from. It seems to be a difficult process to map. For me it really does feel like a spark in the brain: I could do that. Then it’s followed by: well, what if we did it this way?
One thing that lots of us do to find that initial inspiration is to look through magazines. In my case, I like some of the quilting magazines, I love Uppercase and Selvedge. I am getting to the point, though, where, lovely as they are, magazines about stitching fabric together in geometrical designs are just getting flicked through rather than poured over. I have started to like the very glossy house magazines such as World of Interiors and House and Garden. In my last post about my pheasant/phoenix piece I described working from this photo in House and Garden:
An advertisement for the coming month’s issue led me to buy it as it promised a feature around a man holding a massive stuffed fish. Imagine my delight when it had a whole run of beautiful photographs of the new season’s fabrics made up into outfits for sailors and several fabric sea creatures including this chap with some lovely lobsters:
All the photos are glorious, and here are a couple of fish:
I really liked the feature because the other pieces are so brilliantly done using the fabric, but also the tongue-in-cheek of the photographs. The Penzance Sailing Club, it seems, were persuaded to wear ludicrous outfits and to play it absolutely straight for the camera. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a credit for whomever made the glorious fabric artefacts.
In World of Interiors, there was a feature using the new fabric ranges photographed in Portugal. This one also had some wonderful sea creatures including this moody and misty shot of a giant fish:
Again, sadly, no credit is given to the maker.
The upshot of this is that I think I will be changing my reading habits a bit, and sinking more often into the fantasy world of the glossies.