Originality is a weighty term that is often overstated as the hallmark of a great artist. However, everyone is influenced and inspired by their predecessors. In fact, learning from those who have gone before you is an essential part of any artistic process. The trick of innovation is not just conjuring something up out of the dust, but utilising themes, techniques and elements from the past in a unique and original way. In short, successful art makes something new out of the old.
For this reason, I have decided to write a post to show you how artists are influenced by more established or canonical figures.
If you are an amateur, you may wish to learn from those who are experienced in their field but have not yet acquired canonical status. Take a look at this list of Instagram artists that we love at Spellbinder:
subliming.jpg (Tessa Forrest) – If you have graphic design ambitions, click on the hyperlink for Tessa to see how you can experiment with the visual aesthetics of words.
takano.aya (Aya Takano) – If you are interested in the rich Japanese artistic scene, take a look at Aya who creates beautiful and ethereal Japanese style artworks.
dreamy_moons (Annie Tarasova) – Annie’s distinctive creations with their signature black backgrounds are inspired by astrology and nature. She creates books, journals and cards so you might want to look at her shop, which you can access via the link on her Instagram bio, for some inspiration.
_katiesmith_illustration_ (Katie Smith) – We love the bright colours and pop art feel of Katie’s fantastic illustrations. Maybe you will too.
laurenmartin_studio (Lauren Martin) – Think items of food with faces and you know what Lauren’s work is about. Go to her account to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down.
evamalleyart (Eva Malley) – Eva’s funky monochrome prints are very modern and will provide a great source of inspiration for those interested in printing designs.
Now, let’s look at some big names that have inspired newer artists.
I’m sure you know Vincent Van Gogh’s legendary The starry night. This incredible work of post-impressionist painting has inspired many creators including Daan Roosegaarde‘s who has made an eco-friendly cycle path out of solar-powered LEDs. This glow in the dark installation can be viewed in Brabant, Holland where Gogh was born. The lights on the path look like the swirling skies of Gogh’s landscape.
- Think about how you too could be inspired by a famous artwork and how you could transform it into your own piece by using a completely different medium.
Hannes Grebin has been inspired by the cubist work of Pablo Picasso. You can see his Instagram page here for his incredible cubist furniture creations.
- Consider a movement within art history that particularly appeals to you. Make a list of the characteristics which fascinate you and see if you can incorporate these into a refreshing and modern artwork of your own.
For something truly innovative, look at Roberto Perez‘s work. Many parts of life which are not directly considered artistic mediums have been exploited for their artistic potential. Gastro Art is one of the most notable examples of combining art with another discipline, cooking in this case. Some of Perez’ work might be described as Hair Art. Inspired by the surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, Perez transforms people’s heads to cut their hair into marvellous portraits and patterns.
- How might you mix disciplines to create something new out of the old?
Hopefully the Instagram active artists above will provide some inspiration for your creations and you will be able to see how they too have been inspired by some brilliant creative predecessors. The arts should always be about a sense of community and sharing. Learn from each other, and from those who have tried, succeeded and even failed before you.
Amber Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief
Images obtained with the permission of Eva Malley and Aya Takano from their artist Instagram accounts.