Finding the bones of my inspiration [Tess, week three]

Written on June 28, 2011 by in Artistry & inspiration, Guest bloggers

Hello there all of you blog readers! It’s Tess Pierson the guest blogger, and I’m back with my next blog post so please read on!

We had our inspiration file reviewed during week 3.

Now, in order to have a file reviewed, one must actually create a file for the reviewer.

Silly, but there it is.

I had trouble with that part, the creating the file part. And here’s why: I have an ongoing file on my iPhone. I snap a shot when I see something powerful or gorgeous or green or whatever.

So I figured really no big deal at all. Kate asked for between 30 and 60 pictures of things. I have around a thousand give or take. I figured I’d just—yes that evil word just—I’d just download them from my phone to create the file. Piece of cake. Not that I eat cake.

Things did not go as planned.

First, I forgot that we changed cell carriers, and when we did so, we changed phones. And all my inspiration pictures were on my old phone, which the guy at the Apple store said was no big deal to download onto my new device, he would do it but actually they were really busy right now, so I could just (wince) do it at home.

I should have known what lay ahead when he used the word just. That word usually signals the beginning of an impossible and inconvenient request, a rude remark, a demand, or completely unasked for commentary. This time it signaled an impossible task.

Next, after two days of off and on fooling around with the transfer slash download slash task of insanity, I knew that ‘just’ had struck again, and I finally gave up on modern technology according to Apple. I decided to do it the old fashioned way, the way before smart phones outsmarted me: I picked up a camera, unearthed some magazine tears from the last several years, and took pictures of them. Finally I had the images and I made a collection in LR, saved to a PDF, then uploaded them to the site. This took, alas, much more time than I allotted for it. Kate (and Amy, my inspiration partner) had only perhaps three minutes to review my file before we started the review process. Sorry about that…

A sample inspiration folder

Now begins the interesting part. Most of the inspirations were from the last 8-10 years and it was quite curious to see what used to inspire me and what still inspires me, and what it reveals about my continued development as a person, as an artist, as a traveler, as a reader. I’ll tell you I like big colorful travel books and biographies, I went through a neutrals house phase, I love love 20th Century art, and I tear out ads and articles about the Caribbean and St. Petersburg and Santorini and skiing (and I hate the cold), and someday I am going to make every one of Ina Garten’s recipes that I tore out of House Beautiful!

I also have fantasies about going to Vermont and tapping for syrup (in the cold?), painting children’s murals, training dogs, understanding wine, learning French so I can read Camus in the original…and I’m pretty much obsessed with anything chocolate or hydrangea, as I have literally pages and pages of both. Also—and this is no surprise to those of you who know and love me—I’m still completely stuck on green. Any shade of green, really, and the more the better in my opinion. Also black and white and pink.

Tracing the last several years of my life through these old magazine tears was an extraordinary experience as I was unaware of the themes and consistent interests that were strongly reflected over those same years. I had no idea that the bones of the things that inspire me to this day were all over those tears—details and color and grey and brown and chinese ginger jar lamps and hilarious sayings and pretty much everything that makes up a life and a personality. My life and my personality.

The best part is this: I am so perfectly happy that all those magazine tears are finally in digital form! It took this assignment for me to get them into a place where I could actually use them and refer to them and be inspired by them. I have stopped and looked at the files several times since last Friday. I’m in love all over again. I remember the magenta stage (Volvo ad) and the turquoise stage (cashmere plaid throw ad) and then the pink orange (Elle Decor editorial) and the pink red (Italian Vogue editorial) stages that were related but oh so different. And purple (toile), lavender (Vogue editorial), smoky grey (7×7 editorial), orange and grey (art). Are you kidding me? Totally in love again.

The file lives now on my desktop and gets opened at least once a day. Each time I think ‘I’ll just take a quick look at it…just a quick look…just…’


Thanks, Tess! Sounds like an amazing experience. So glad to share it with you, K

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