Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Finding new ideas for work is a constant endeavour. Always trying to include something slightly different within work for me holds the interest and focuses my mind on adding a bit more to what I make.

I have to say I have a sketch book full of new ideas, some of which have been waiting to be realised for over a year, ( so I guess they are no longer new).

Finding inspiration as it is sometimes called for new ideas can be perceived as difficult. I say perceived as I now realise that inspiration is not at times as hard to achieve as I would once have thought. It does not come as a lightening bolt but is held within my mind from what I see around me and eventually something is triggered, and an idea pops to mind.
When the penny dropped for me it was a wonderful feeling. The feeling that actually I did not need to have a special mind set, that all I had to do was truly observe items around me was such a basic reality, that I did not see why I had not seen it before.
For me being able to observe comes back a certain degree to my last post about being honest. If I come up with an idea from seeing something I no longer worry if others may find it wacky or weird, I do not allow what I see to become tainted by what I think others may think about it.
We really do not need to look that far or deeply to find new ideas. They are in fact as I have found all around. When I walk to the shops, talk to my children, walk my dogs or go on holiday, new ideas are everywhere. I just have to see them.!!

Recently I went on holiday to North Devon. Always having my camera near for a visual reference I decided to try an exercise to find new ideas. It became apparent to me that while I would look for ideas, I would not truly observe with an open mind.How many times do we look but not not see the object in front of us. Mostly perhaps we are thinking of something else without the mind being fully connected with what we should be doing, looking for new ideas. Or we just see a shape and the surface of the object leaving the depth behind as we look away.

The exercise was to pick out a small area within a rock pool to see exactly what I could find that I could use in my work. By really looking/seeing it is amazing how much there is available as a resource within such a small space.
The area I picked was around two meters square. There were sea shells or varying shapes and sizes, but by looking further I could see within these shells, textures, colours, shapes within shapes.
Rock formations held shapes and colours of interest. After I had spent some time within this small area I decided to go for a walk along the beach, near to the rock pools.

I found drift wood with amazing shapes and textures including corroded nails that held a myriad of colours was found lying in some sea weed.Even the under belly of a baby crab held shapes and colours within its small anatomy.

Coming away from holiday I had a camera full of new objects from which to take reference. My mind started running over new ideas.
I have included some of the pictures below and will look at some of these individually to be included within new work and will post how I take these objects and add them to a piece of my work.


Philip Streeting said...

Good to see the Blog up and running. Writing can sometimes help to clarify ideas before you commit to them. It is also interesting to observe and absorb the way others approach their work.

Mark said...

Hi Philip

Thank you for dropping by. I have had a good teacher.

Take care