My “How to Gather Visual Inspiration and Translate Them” Journal Entry


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I’ll always love a compelling visual story.

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with brainstorming for Clarisse The Label and doing some research and window shopping full of eye-candy + keep every other detail for all things that will inspire more of my future projects I have in mind.

(Above are pictures distracting me from my shop-to-shop walk Top to bottom: jewelry store at New Jersey, pink color story from Uniqlo, High contrast colors and Luxe from Gucci New York, An Army from Topshop, Can stack and view at the Butchershop at Perth.)

First off, I’d like to make this supposedly introspection of my work, as a private thought / list. I originally have planned to place content about interesting visual merchandising for my blog entry for an online course I was completing, and now has evolved into a blog post about a simplified overview of my process I want to share with everyone who wants a guide they can try while in the process of finding their own.

Lately, I have been finding myself in a state wherein I would want to rip my schedule and my identity from where I am at this certain point of progress or goals i am pursuing to unlearn myself. But again, it doesn’t always work that day ( My thesis says hi! ), so I just ponder and write down notes on how to improve, and once and for all, trace down my roots to how I started, and rekindle good moments of creating that until now, is a vivid memory. 

Other than recreating, rekindling and changing up the course and blueprint-like formula I unconsciously made up, the last leg of this year has been more stripped down to my core and beliefs rather than simply going back and doing the same thing I did before, with the hopes a certain intensity will happen again. Anyhow, I whipped this list that has changed over time, and has helped me cope with days that seem to float on by:

My process of creation is in a list, in order or rumbled up…

1. Immersion in the source or exposure to different activities and events.

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Sometimes I get myself busy discovering new things via the internet and trying to seek and geek on topics like cooking, pottery, marketing, self-help, fitness, interior design, Japanese culture, Filipino traditions in art + design, astronomy and looking for more books to help me navigate through my different goals and changes.

My favorite websites (in random order) are Tofugu (a Japanese culture blog + WaniKani self-learn program on Hiragana and Kanji), Pepper.ph (a Philippine-based food blog who explores and recalls good things),  The Commons on Flickr (a royalty free website of images around the world from the past ’til the present which inspire me to search the stories on the said photos, especially on astronomy, which then inspired my collage work).

I believe that exploring has no limits: visiting your local library, taking advantage of free museum deals, open house events, taking advantage of the possibilities exploring Google with any question you through (after a split second of you having a train of thought or question about something, SEARCH IT AND GET AN ANSWER).

Also, it also pays to save up for the interesting workshops. I’ve been to exciting ones from Blogging, Bracelet Making, Weaving, Pottery, to my most recent, Polymer Clay Art.

One important take away for almost all of my workshops is that things can go wrong and you don’t always nail the first time. This was true to some of my workshops I’ve attended, I had a hard time following through steps and even lag in demos, and recently, the one I took, was the pottery workshop I did because sadly, my bowl allegedly exploded in the kiln and fortunately, have another chance to redo it (for free, haha! Thank you Mia Casal for letting me try it again! ). Also, recently my SoFA workshop on Fashion Construction, which was not timely for me due to fatigue and other factors I had to consider, so I forgive myself for not being at the top of my game for that.

Now, putting the knowledge into a bank for my future plans under my journal where I daydream about all kinds of passion projects <3. A turnaround and a lesson is always present in a situation.

2. Introspection and Journal writing about what my perspective on those inspiration that I can connect with myself

I make sure I write about my experiences and “harvest” a moral story that I will add as a reference point. These reference points I utilise because I believe they make strong confidence builders and in a way, help in looking at challenges in the future + new things in a different perspective. Think of it as conditioning yourself into a learning sponge that continually soaks in new information and keeps the important parts to build Personal Growth and Career Growth.

Metaphors and images that you encounter can also translate into future ideas or imagery that can represent your thoughts and feelings. My personal art is my experimental zone for this exhibit. Getting references from nature from trips and being extra observant about colors and textures can bring new ideas and styles to explore.

James Jean one of my favorite visual artists, is a great exhibit:

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#Kanazawa from @jamesjeanart on Instagram
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Conjuring #ricohgr #streetsnaps from @jamesjeart on Instagram

I love how his photographs, travels and pictures inspires his imagery in his works. This one looks like a lady crawling its way to reach you.

Another recent happenings is me and Gel attending a polymer clay workshop, and meeting an artist named Tish,  who creates miniature food for @bkdmnl. She started it as a hobby, and with laziness on cooking in mind, she decided to recreate food using clay, a cheaper and stress-relieving alternative.

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Miniature Pho from @bkdmnl on Instagram

Surprisingly, me and Gel quickly and easily learned how to make a miniature taco and pizza during one of her workshops!

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I didn’t even know I could do such things with polymer clay~ *then there is me reminiscing how frustrated I was playing with air drying clay 2 years back*

Last but not the least, is how Katie Rodger of @paperfashion frames her work from what she sees and reimagined her dancing paper dolls everywhere! The best exhibit I could think of!

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@paperfashion on Instagram
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@paperfashion on Instagram
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@paperfashion on Instagram

As you can see, your surrounding, nature in general, can and will inspire you always. This will enable you to let art reflect your own experiences. I used to have tons of sketches that had no meaning, random scribbles and random characters, only to be used after 2 years or so (It’s been real fun going back to my dusty pages)!

These, eventually are the images that sometime inspire new work, as combined with a current insight.

3. Translating insights to visual entities 

There is no exact one way of translating insights and visual inspirations to your visions. There are several things you can do to enhance and expand your vocabulary and your imagery (other than making art constantly) :

* Get to know people and their way of life

*Read books and geek on articles 

*Try a new hobby and just see how it goes

*Visit places like its your first time visiting it

Get your references from living and breathing things and add up to your core truth or manifesto and add 2 things together (morph them, in different ways) and see what you like. Its one of my to-go things to do with 2 elements I want to join in, if I’m bored or “running out of ideas”— a favorite on collage art.

4. Doing the work and loving every bit of process, in failure or in success, in dissatisfaction and in satisfaction

Just do something. I need to get through the day exhausting my feelings and/or thoughts or reinforce a thirst to express for the day to keep the ball rolling.

5. Harness the Moral in every output and get to know yourself 

For me, I always do a note taking beside the sketch or a post it I attach on the pages of my sketch / watercolor book for technical notes to improve on + moral of working on the artwork:

An exhibit:

As for me— I love blooms because it makes me feel relaxed. (This also clearly reflects my inclination towards planting or staring at floral illustrations and anything floral / botanical related, and with a little reflection– connects to other aspects of me as a visual artist and maybe a future gardener, florist and etc.) 

(Some notes: I had to choose the temperature well in an air conditioned room because of the drying time. Also, use a round brush, then a dropper / smaller brush.)

 The notes above are what I learned from “go back to your drawing board” line from my professors—

realisation of the thought is molding my world view and at the same time the mold and changes I make when I look at the technical details of the act or the metaphor behind the act. If all fails…

5. Reassess and do it again.

Also, I realised that ever since, my works were progressive and continually evolving, thus there is no need for excessive stress to keep up with an image or a style. It’s good to keep something constant but not letting that constant element limit you in your executions. I will continuing loving my darkest parts and days of inconvenience that made my art like a circus and morphing entity from day 1 ’til today.

How about you? Have you laid your process down on paper? What are your realisations and reactions now you have a close look on it?

Love and light,

S.S.

(Disclaimer: This is not my direct journal entry. No one writes this way on their journal. I’m messier in everything– just translated the good stuff from the shit  stuff ).