"Being an artist isn’t just a “right brain” activity---you must use ALL of your brain, body and spirit to create. When the creation is done, the whole is much more than the sum of its parts… and so is the creator." - Lyrae Perry

Inspiration Overload

Inspiration overload … what are we talking about here?

Luann Udell, a fellow artist and blogger, has an interesting “take” on looking at other people’s art, and why she says you shouldn’t do too much of that.  Her recent blog post is a quick read and may cause you to think about what drives your art, in a different way. Here’s the link for you:


As I was reading her blog post, there were notes that certainly struck home with me in terms of what I call inspiration overload… and the resulting paralysis I sometimes feel when it comes to my creativity.

Mostly those feelings come from looking at a body of work I admire, by another artist. For example, Beatrice Coron tells stories in a unique paper cutting art form. Her body of work is extensive, and very cool.  Beatrice was not always an artist, and started her art career late in life, like so many. But boy-oh-boy, did she hit all the marks!

Have a look/listen to her TED Talk:


How did you feel after viewing her TED Talk?

I love all of her work and the back-stories too.  Beatrice turned silhouette 2-D work into multidimensional stories, layering metaphor upon metaphor.  You can look at them in different ways depending on your focus … overall art design, or delving into the stories within the designs.

Her body of work is impressive, and as much as I liked it, I also started feeling that my art was not good enough.  I wanted to change-up what I do and be more of a storyteller, and … and … and … blah, blah, blah.  I was clearly headed down the path of inspiration overload, which is a kind of depression I suppose.  It certainly wasn’t a good place to be.

My eccentric ego then reminded me that years ago it had “saved me” from a fate worse than living paycheck to paycheck.  There was no way I could ever make a living as an artist!  It told me I should choose a safe path and become an accountant with a paycheck every week.  I listened,  and headed for the “security” job.

Sadly, accounting is not the secure job it may once have been. As it turns out, accounting is being frequently outsourced to other countries and software programs.  My ego still is not listening very well. But I’m determined to push on with the artwork.

Art and creative work is gaining ground world-wide as the new zeitgeist for job security.  Read all about that shift in Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind”.    Daniel is a left-brainer, who has done the research and reached the conclusion that right-brainers are at the forefront of business for the future (especially in the USA) because they bring meaning, beauty, coherence and so much more to the table.  It’s a very interesting book,  and the data will surprise you.

Here’s a link to Daniel’s book from Amazon.com:


The internal dialog with my ego between security and art is an old conflict.  But the art side is winning … finally!

In order to take control, I reminded myself that Beatrice Coron’s art is a body of work  that has been created over a long period of time.   I should not feel like I’m falling behind, because I wasn’t able to completely devote myself to art as a career.   I had hard choices to make in life, like most everyone, but I never really stopped being an artist.  I’ve worked at art my whole life, whenever I could fit it in, and I have created a large body of work too.  Art is a process, not a destination.  And my “art voice” is evolving all the time.

I slowed the push-back of my ego by NOT looking at Pinterest and other visual arts so much and not comparing myself to others.  I’m focusing on deeper development of my own series, and spending my energy working in that space.

Ghost Glass Frog -copyright Lyrae 2014

Ghost Glass Frog -copyright Lyrae 2014

I’m going back to my original photographic files and finding inspirations, which are mostly nature related.  There are other places I find inspiration too, and they aren’t usually thought of as fine art, which is good.  I’m also working with different compositions and materials.  I think fun is an important component to art. I only want to paint what I like, because that’s more fun than trying to please anyone else.  When I’m painting, I don’t feel the time pass at all because I’m fully engaged in the work.

Have you ever felt inspiration overload?   How did you bring yourself back from that place to start working on your art again?



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