Hi lovely people!
Thank you for taking time to read this. Today I'll be writing about something I get asked alot: "What is your inspiration, where do you get it from?" I get perplexed on how to answer this question because 'inspiration' is a vague & large term to me and I hate giving short generic answers to this, so I decided to answer this in a blog post once and for all! (:
To answer this, I have to go through my part-by-part thought process because I get inspired through the many steps of one illustration as they are very detailed. Do bear with me and this wordy post!
Thoughts - About being inspired to start a new project or a new illustration.
I'm a huge believer of how things should come to a person naturally, including love. There should be no shortcuts to feeling inspired. Perhaps I'm abit of a romantic when it comes to this. I definitely do not sit down, think hard, draw mind maps or write down possible illustration trends I should do next. I do not believe in hitting trends and just drawing what people want to see next.
Every project comes to me naturally at some point of time, and that's what makes every illustration personal and special to me. To be honest, I'm not hardworking enough to draw something for a month just for the sole purpose of pleasing an audience. I need to draw something I care about, something I feel for, something that may relate to someone else on a personal level. It's like writing a story with the thousand of strokes in my work and I'm so lucky to have you guys feeling and appreciating what I put out there. I'm endlessly thankful everyday! (:
TL:DR I get inspired by thoughts and personal feelings before starting a project. That's why I have descriptions to all my illustrations. Aesthetics are important but they shouldn't be just that.
EG. Avalanche was inspired by songs and lyrics from Bring Me The Horizon's latest album. Why I did it was because their songs helped me through a very dark period of my life.
I'll also be writing a detailed post of my next project's inspirations once it's completed!
Make art - About starting a piece and finding inspiration/references
I'm a very visual person and I think in forms of images. Like when I read a book, or when I listen to a song, images flash in my head and that's how I interpret things and feel. When I think of things, blurry visuals pop up and form.
So after getting the beginning inspiration to start a new artwork, I start to think of how I should piece my thoughts together and how it should look in a form of illustration. I then source for references and when I see something that matches what I have in my head, I save it. So alot of people would ask, "Where do you find these references?" Well, there are no shortcuts. I don't limit my search. If you just have a couple of sources or a few illustrators you like that you always look at, it's very likely you'll end up living in their shadows and subconsciously drawing like them or even 'copying' them.
Through many years of drawing, from when I was young drawing manga, to constantly experimenting during the 3 years in TP Design School, I'm glad to have found a style I'm comfortable with. Generally, I'm in love with Victorian vintage illustrations and very influenced by Japanese culture since young, so you can definitely see those incorporated into my works.
So now all I find are eg. suitable pictures of models for the facial references and alot of other vintage photo references. I then collage and piece all the photos together, edit them and draw over them with my own style. And then, I add in lots of other parts like hair, details and stuff. Admittedly, alot of artists aren't geniuses. We don't just free-hand shit out from our heads and I think that's okay.
TL:DR Doing art requires alot of research. Find your style and steal like an artist.
Personalise it - About how to add your own touch to your works
So now I'm drawing my illustration. Asides from the references and getting the body of your work done, I love adding my own favourite details. I love adding tattoos, roman numerals of the date when Sarah Thursday started (Halloween 2013), adding piercings, adding face paint, and all the things that makes it mine. These are all inspiration from my own personal style and likings.
So that's how I get my work done! I hope that this helps you understand the process and also my inspirations. There're so many depths to being inspired and all these contributes to your final artworks.
Leave me a comment on my instagram @sarahthursday if you like this post <3 Feel free to share it on Facebook if you think it may help other budding artists out there!