November is one of the year’s least popular months – perhaps this is the reason why I started to feel sorry for it and learned to like it. This liking went so far that at some point this rainy, foggy, dark month became my favourite. Since then it is not that popular with me either, but I still like to curl up in an armchair with a cup of cocoa or tea and plan Christmas ahead – well before the madness of December.
This month’s watercolour splash conveys the rainy mood pretty well I think, with its purples and blues. Along with the monthly calendar, you can bring a perfect seasonal atmosphere right onto your screen. ;)
I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. I hope you enjoy this free download :)
I’m looking at my to-do list: I should paint, try new techniques so I have things to write blog posts about and take pictures of. But I should also cook, clean my apartment, and I haven’t met my best friend in ages. Plus my cat can’t wait for me to play with him a bit.
This is more or less what my inner monologues sound like when I procrastinate. There’s an endless number of excuses why I can’t sit down to my desk and draw the first line, but of course it’s not these – indeed important but not crucial – tasks that stop me from painting. What stops me is fear.
I have been asked several times before: what are the things that inspire me during my painting process? If I were very honest and straightforward, I would say „the works of other illustrators and designers”, but of course, no artist says anything like this in case they are accused of stealing. It is just as well, since inspiration is something slightly more complicated than that, so today I’m going to ramble a bit about this subject.
According to definition Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into”) refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. (Source)
Now that the academic approach has been cleared, we can admit that the word ‘inspiration’ is one of today’s favourite and most over-used expressions. It is the kind of cliché, which makes my mind switch off at the first mention of it. Under the pre-text of ‘inspiration’ anything can be sold: a kitchy photo, a perfectly banal quote or even a collection of images. Needless to say, I have also jumped the band-wagon, I create inspirational posters, and what’s more, I titled an entire category on this blog ‘inspiration’ – but I’ll tell you a secret: my paintings are hardly ever inspired by such things.
The way it doesn’t work
Inspiration actually means something different for all of us: something might be inspiring for me, which is not inspiring for you. Therefore it follows logically, that what I’m saying here may not apply to you.
However, we all have that feeling in common when we are just uninspired, so we have to accept the painful fact that inspiration is not always at reach whenever we need it. So don’t expect magic to happen if you fill a tub with foamy hot water and recite ‘I’m getting inspired now’ (even though it sometimes helps).
A couple of months ago Youtube has sucked me in so deeply that I was watching the screen day and night. Not that I hadn’t used this amazing platform before, but the time had finally come when I wasn’t looking for videos according to topic, but according to creators.
This is how I met the expression ‘illustuber’, which is quite simply an illustrator, who runs a youtube channel. These fantastic artists share their experiences, tell about both the bright and dark sides of their profession, show their favourite art supplies, or just chat about their pets. No surprise, I became quite addicted for a while. It is interesting that in many cases I am not drawn to the artist’s style so much as his/her professional knowledge, and I’m ever so grateful for the amount of information I learned from these guys.
I’m still in the process of exploring new faces but there are a few favourites, whose videos I always watch when they upload something. They are the ones I’m going to introduce today.