So often in life, as a creative person, I am asked "where do you look to for inspiration?" The automatic reply is "in nature". I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Is nature not the only unique thing to turn to? If not nature, than is it just a copy of someone else's work? It's a tough question to ask yourself.
I suppose the question can be broken down further. What are my intentions with the inspiration that I gain from other's work? Do I intend to reproduce it? Am I drawn to a colour scheme, pattern or technique in which I want to learn more about? Or is it simply something that caught my eye; something that evoked a happy thought?
Well I can say this for sure: I'm not a copycat. In fact upon the recent rejection letter from a design competition I entered, I can say that too often I am way outside the box. So far outside the box that I sometimes can't even see the box from a distance. I don't think that's necessarily a good thing but I will say that at least my design idea was my own and probably not enough of 'their' style. I've not delved too deep into designing, it was one of my first knitting competitions and I really only write knitting/crochet patterns for a specific need which is usually my own workshops.
On the flip side, as you may be aware, I knit a lot! I love finding patterns that allow me to create a garment for a loved one. I happily take in the recommended yarn, gauge and other info so that I can replicate what is written on the page. But I don't claim this as my 'own'. There was simply something in that specific pattern that I was drawn too. Perhaps a challenge was to be had by learning a new technique. Or I was inspired by the way the designer tied the blues and greys in with that gorgeous pink.
Then there is the whole emotional side of things in which tears may spring from eyes, happy or sad, simply from observing. That is a whole other blog post!
The truth is, in nature, we are looking at shapes, colours, textures, and patterns that are completely unique. Made by the need to survive. No one can claim the red in a sunset or the millions of shades of greens in a meadow. They can't make the texture of a fern leaf or peacock feather. They can only imitate it. There is something so fundamental about looking to outer space to see beauty, to the oceans to see variety, and to a forest to see texture and vibrant colour. That is why I answer "I turn to nature for inspiration". It is limitless in its ability to inspire.
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