Yesterday, I went to the store with my 5 year old daughter to buy dog food. We had some time to kill, so after choosing a cute dog toy and loading the over-priced dog food in the cart, we meandered around the store. As we walked around, I found myself pausing and taking mental notes for future creative projects.
I must admit it made me laugh. Only an artist looks at the candy aisle and sees color combinations to try out later, right? Then, I began to hunt for inspiration with more intention. My shopping trip turned into a fun scavenger hunt for ideas to incorporate in my art.
Here are some of the items I found inspiring and how I might use them:
Item 1: Godiva Chocolate Box
I’m not the hugest fan of pink. In fact, I didn’t even find out if I was having a boy or girl with any of my pregnancies because I was terrified at the thought of being inundated with Pepto Bismol pink baby items. But this Godiva box doesn’t offend me in the least. I like the 2-3 toned pink with the pop of gold. I also love some of the patterns in the quilted design. I can absolutely use one of those symbols in my next mark making endeavor.
Item 2: An Apron
The print on this apron jumped out at me as I was perusing the Easter store display. I love the graphic botanicals and the symmetry. I also like the teal, mustard, green color combo. I can see taking the style of the rabbits and applying it to one of my birds. So many possibilities and ideas to ponder.
Item 3: Dish Towels
Again, I don’t love light pastel pink. On the other hand, the saturated pink with the navy blue and the turquoise-y green — I can work with those colors for sure. I also like the design elements of stripes leading into the scalloped edge. I think I will incorporate a scalloped edge in my next art journal spread.
Item 4: A Greeting Card
This card is actually a confirmation card, but I’m not inspired by the typography. I like the cloud treatment and some of the details in the bird. Faux stitching could be a fun element to include in my next bird. Why not take it a step further and use real stitching? I’ll pull the sewing machine out. Also, the card had a radial pattern in the background with some subtle texture in it. I like that.
Item 5: A Vera Bradley Bag
Again, I find myself drawn to the saturated colors. I love the red in addition to the teal, green, and mustard. I also don’t hate the harlequin pattern stitched on the top.
Item 6: A Scarf
Similar to some of the other items, I feel inspired by the geometric pattern, the monochromatic color scheme, and the pop of gold.
Creating a Reference Library
Ultimately, finding inspiration will not do any good if I don’t refer back to it. I did not buy any of the items pictured. I merely snapped a quick picture in the store with my cell phone to use an an inspiration journal of sorts later. So that I don’t have to scroll through a billion pictures on my phone, I plan to create a separate photo album for logging my real world inspiration from now on.
“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
— Pablo Picasso
I think the practice is definitely worth continuing. Unexpectedly, I learned some things about my style based on the similarities of the items that jumped out at me in the store. Also, I recognized that mustard yellow is trending hard so I bought 2 yellow shirts 🙂
What do you think? Do you accept the challenge? The next time you go shopping, I challenge you to truly look around and see if you can find 5 sources of inspiration.