Monday, September 30, 2013

Internet = Despair or Inspiration?

Every morning I read Laura Lein-Svencner's blog (Lone Crow). She's a collage artist and I am happy to have one of her works on my mantel. Here's a link to her website:

She was talking about going online, looking at other artists' works, comparing her work to theirs, and momentarily feeling "less than."

I do this a lot, too. In fact, my morning routine is to get up around 4 or 4:30 and work on my own photomontages, have breakfast later with Chris, and then spend maybe an hour online, reading other artists' blogs as I sip my coffee.
"Wasp Waist" photomontage created this  morning.

I know what Laura means about feeling "less than." There's an incredible array of wonderfully creative art out there, from simple sketches to photographs to quilting to encaustic to collage to oil painting, etc. Sometimes I think, "Who am I kidding? Me? An artist? Look at what this person is creating."

Luckily, most of the time, instead of feeling "less than," I feel inspired. Look at that color palette. Look at the bones of that composition. Look at how she used image transfers. Look at that brayer technique. It's exciting and it's motivational, encouraging me to experiment, to incorporate, to continue creating in different ways.

I relate to Laura's "less than" feelings when I read about everything she does. She teaches classes all the time; she creates and sells calendars; she makes her own journals; she's making video tutorials; and she sells her work at art fairs. I feel "less than" because I don't do much of that at all, but feel maybe I should. (Well, except for doing art shows — did that in southern California and it was brutal — never again.)

But I digress. . . how do YOU use the Internet? Is it a source of inspiration or is it depressing? Do you use it to remain excited, be motivated, to learn/see new things? Or does all this surfing bring you down to an almost paralyzing low? Do you feel there's no point continuing on with your photography when you see others' amazing work?

My neighbor's a reader and we share books. She mentioned the other day that there are so many books out there to read that it's daunting. And my response was thank god there are a lot of books out there to be read because I know that in this lifetime I will never be bored, there will be no end to my enjoyment.

Cruising the Internet, comparing, analyzing, ingesting, studying, admiring — it's all good, and I believe it's good for you. So much creativity in one place — you cannot help but benefit from it. By pushing the "less than" feelings to one side, you make room for inspiration, which in turn makes you a better artist.

This has been a public service announcement . . .

©Carol Leigh


  1. We need more public service announcements, like this.

    Wonderful! C2


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