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  • Bianca Vinther

Where and how to find inspiration as an artist

What are your sources of inspiration? And what inspires you most?

Watercolour painting expressing the light in the Universe in shades of yellow and lilac.
"Cosmos" (fragment) by Bianca Vinther. Watercolour painting on cold pressed paper.

If you’re a visual artist, you must have felt inspired many times before. But you’ve probably also felt uninspired and may have pondered what inspiration is, if it actually exists, where and how to find inspiration, and whether or not you need inspiration to create art.

In a previous blog article, I've revelead the truth about art inspiration + how to find inspiration and stay inspired as a visual artist. In this blog post, I’ll share some thoughts about my main source of inspiration and what inspiration means to me as a visual artist. Because we all need, from time to time, a small reminder that inspiration is always presentwithin us.

Where and how I find inspiration

Most of the time I draw inspiration from everyday life and Nature, my great master. I’m particularly attracted to water, seashells, fishernets, stones, stars, galaxies, and feathers. I notice different patterns and make new connections each time I observe these wonders.

In my art-making process, I’m guided by the shapes and textures I come across, as well as by the emotions that surface inside of me. In fact, all of my art is an attempt to restore a connection with Nature and the Invisible that we, humans, have once broken. I’m fascinated by Nature, where nothing superfluous occurs, but everything has its place, meaning, and inner order.

The outcome of my creative interaction with everyday life's natural wonders is generally free-form and upbeat, pretty much like a musical composition called capriccio. Because I find so much joy in Nature!

Wartercolour painting representing colours and forms in a continous movement and flow.
"Shallow Waters" by Bianca Vinther. Watercolour painting on hot pressed paper.

What is my secret? I collect, sort out, and literally go beyond the form of things that come from Nature. In other words, whenever I explore and work with natural elements, I see them from within and I transform their patterns into unique forms and structures that carry my message of freedom, wonder, and beauty. Because I've got an inward approach to Nature.

As I engage with the natural elements, I also take note of the space within and around them, and I often compare this space to a deep breath that opens up my lungs, brain, and heart, and fills them with Life. I inhale creative energy from Nature, which sparks my artistic creativity in return.

I find and express unrepeatable motifs, shapes, and textures because I need the guidance of Nature and I love the uncertainty of such a venture. I cannot invent or create something out of nothing. Nobody can achieve that, and, if you doubt it, consider Duchamp’s Fountain or Edison’s light bulb. In the words of Pablo Picasso it is as follows:

"I do not seek, I find. It is a risk, a holy adventure. The uncertainty of such ventures can only be taken on by those, who feel safe in insecurity, who are leaders in uncertainty, in guilelessness, who let themselves be drawn by the target and do not define the target themselves."

Two years ago I painted the Cosmos (check the pictures I've published some time ago on Instagram). It felt like a necessity under the given circumstances when there were so many restrictions and encroachments on people’s freedom throughout the world. That cycle of works is a personal expression of the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also of hope and, ultimately, of fascination with the grandeur of our infinite Universe.

I took my visual inspiration from a book that the Swiss visual artist Pipilotti Rist presented in her retrospective at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark in 2019: Himmel & Erde: Verborgene Welten (2002). Why this book precisely? Because it's filled with macro pictures, which gave me a glimpse into the depth of the world not as it appears, but as it actually is. And beyond. Check it out yourself (you won’t regret it).

Where and how you can find inspiration

As a visual artist, you can identify unique patterns, make connections, and find possibilities instead of clear-cut solutions literally everywhere. You can create, you’ve got this capacity within you, for creativity is a seed each one of us is born with. This is how you can access your inspiration and squeeze tons of your creative juice into your artworks.

Tame your mind and release your heart. Be open to any potential source of inspiration, and be always ready to capture sparks of ingeniosity.

Observe, observe, observe. Practice the true art of noticing.

Explore alternative pathways, and have the courage to see and express things differently; to change your perspective, and to give the sparks inside your brain the chance to unfold.

Find rather than a seek, and prevent habit energy from suffocating your creative process.

Abstract painting of a fish swarm.
"Sea Life" by Bianca Vinther. Aquarell colours on Japanese paper.

Let’s have a closer look at the fundamental difference between seeking and finding.

To seek means to search for something that can’t be found, which is hidden somewhere. This search can go on forever and can be so tiring. Because to seek means to look outward in search of inspiration, ideas, or answers.

On the other hand, to find is to look inward, within your higher self. Beyond the form. Beyond the visible. To find is to see through and beyond appearances and the limits of physical vision; to discover and reinvent the world each time anew. That is to recognise and, by recognising, to give an ordinary thing another, extra-ordinary life. Pretty much like a painter who, with a magic wand wave, turns a yellow spot into the sun!

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” (Pablo Picasso)

Shift your focus. Turn inward. Look inside your Self, and change your perspective. Begin to see differently through observation and practice, and the things around you will change, too. Inspiration will follow suit.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (W. Dyer)

Easier said than done? Well, simple but not easy indeed when the focus is elsewhere and you try in vain, from outside of yourself, to reach a higher level of consciousness ... However, possible and already there: inside of you.

It starts with a choice – a personal decision to turn your attention inward, listen profoundly, and stop searching. A decision to leave the safety of your harbour, and to conquer the waves; to follow the temptation of immensity. To the last.

If you’ve got something to add, please comment on this blog post below, drop me an e-mail, or pm me on Instagram @the_pointless_artist. I'd love to hear from you!


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Recognise your pointlessness and keep creating!

From Germany with love,

Bianca Vinther


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