Saturday, August 20, 2011

Visual Style

I've become a big fan of Pinterest lately.  I've been trying to collect inspiring images of things that I like, things that I would like to try my hand at making my own versions of, things that I feel a certain connection to.

It's been an interesting journey, and my collection has grown larger and larger waiting for me to do something with it. I've bookmarked dozens of websites that I find have intriguing images and formats, and subscribed to hundreds of blogs written by people that create jaw-dropping pieces of art that I would just love to own or make variations of myself.

 I've been told that good artists steal things--they don't borrow.  They take the best of the inspiration and shape it to their own vision, making it uniquely their own and distinct from what it was before.  It's not copying.  It's filtering through an artistic sieve, taking the ideas that connect and discarding what doesn't work, forging an entirely new expression.  Some ideas are closer in essence to their originals, but if you get too close the artist is simply copying and not allowing their own essence to make it's mark.  Copying is a denial of creativity.  It's a tool, not the end product.  Good artists copy so they can get better at stealing, but in the end copying is cheap imitation.  No true artist wants to copy.  That's not artistic.

 So my collection of inspiring images has been growing, my searching growing wider and wider, my blog subscriptions taking longer and longer to read every day.

But today, I got an email from a singer/songwriter whose mailing list I subscribed to:  Mark Cote.  When I found his website (I can't remember how) I was struck by it's style--circus themed!  I had to remember it, I told myself, and bookmarked it instantly.  I eagerly awaited news about his future album, and told myself that his nostalgic vaudeville flare in visual choices could be quite inspiring for my own work.

I really like his music.  His musical instruments are fun to listen to, he's safely radio-friendly pop, and sorta reminds me of the Beatles. Then the email came with his new video.  I watched it.  And I've got to say, I feel a real penchant toward it.  It's sorta dark, sorta vintage, sorta steampunk...  It's not goth--it's a bit brighter.  It's warped, yes, but not in a horrible way.

The video reminds me of the 1983 movie, Something Wicked This Way Comes (which by the way, is a wonderful piece with a positive uplifting message in the end). I found this video to be incredibly intriguing.  And I'd like to share it with you.

 Until next time, Live Life with Relish!


  1. I'm on Pinterest too. Sometimes the beautiful pics overwhelm me. I feel like I can never make anything as good.

  2. I'm just letting myself enjoy the collecting right now... If I go back and actually look hard at what I've got, I'll crumble... I know EXACTLY how you feel, Jane! I'm practicing "deliberate moderation". If I only look at one page of images and don't scroll down too much, my brain can riff on those for days and I don't feel too overwhelmed or intimidated...

    I haven't even tried looking at other people's collections... I think I'd end up foaming at the mouth in an inspirational stupor... Haha!!


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