The first three months of 2019 have been full of creativity, much to my surprise. Usually my inspiration comes in waves, perhaps I’ll create some art for a few weeks, then it’ll maybe be a month or two until the next wave of creativity hits. This year that’s all changed. Looking at my Instagram feed it appears I’ve been making new art every week since the beginning of the year, with no signs of slowing down, apart from writing this blog.
This is all due in large part to my discovery of Within Temptation, a metal band from the Netherlands. Now, I’d always known WT existed, I remember seeing the album art for their “The Heart of Everything” album way back when and thinking it was cool, but I’d never really bothered to listen to their music. That is until one day when I was scouring apple music, trying to find something new to listen to. Their name popped up on a “similar artists” section and I thought, why not give them a go? A quick google told me I would probably respond best to anything 2007-onwards, so that is where I began listening from (coincidentally the first album I listened to was “The Heart of Everything”).
I was immediately enthralled from the second I heard Sharon den Adel’s voice push through the opening number, “The Howling,” and with that the creative floodgates opened and I had an endless source of inspiration.
In the past music has been a huge source of inspiration for my art, but never on this level. Usually it’s just the odd song here and there, but to create 12 pieces based on one band’s music is definitely something new for me. To be honest, most of the time I get inspired by stock images I use in my art. If I see a particular image it will spark an idea and as I begin to create I build upon it until I have a completed image.
This time, after listening to different songs from WT, I had a fully fleshed out vision and it was more a matter of finding the stock images that would best fit with my idea. Fun and challenging, the fact that I have an idea and then have to try and find images already created to fit in with that idea is quite daunting. But once I find them all the pressure is eliminated because I have everything I need and know that it will work. It was always the opposite for me; an exercise in trial and error. Using this stock image, then having to find another because that one didn’t work, it was very time consuming. Whereas now the creative process is much smoother, so much so I can feel confident showing a “before” image alongside the finished piece.
Before this year, there wouldn’t have been a before image - due in large part because I would accumulate stock imagery throughout the process so my beginning picture could be two or three elements and the final image could include ten or more. I enjoy the fact that the art I’ve created this year has been very contained, with little to no change (in terms of stock changes).
I still have a few ideas for new pieces and no doubt more will come to me. As for the writing of my fifth book, Fire Burner - I know in my last post I had wanted to have the first draft finished by June, this clearly isn’t happening, but I don’t mind because whilst I have this creative energy flowing through me I can’t ignore it. Once I make substantial progress with the book I shall let you know.
But for now be sure to follow me on Instagram to be kept up to date with my latest artworks! You should also check out Within Temptation too!