Getting Inspired

Julia Canright

Sometimes I'm asked to talk about my sources of inspiration and I always find it really difficult in the moment to think of an easy and concise way of describing how I get inspired to create a new block print. It's a weird process that sometimes happens really quickly and varies so much that its hard to sum up in a couple sentences. I thought it might be interesting to try to document the process of getting inspired and see if it helps to understand it better. I've been itching to create something new so here goes....

PS this is completely an experiment - I don't really know if it'll work out!

My mom recently loaned me this giant book that I thought would be a really good source of interesting natural textures and patterns:

Let's take a look see...

I went through the whole book and bookmarked images that I thought were interesting. I mean it was all good but I was being very selective. 

A very cool sword with amazing curves and I love the concentric lines on the right.

What?! How is this possible - amazing colors and patterns.

I love the shapes and color contrast in this butterfly wing. 

I also love the shapes and color in this fossil - it looks like water color. 

This granite is speaking to me. I'm especially looking out for things that would translate well into a block print. Something with contrast and clear lines and I think this would work really well for the process.  

I use these awesome Moo Carve blocks. They're made of a thick rubbery plastic. They are super easy to cut and the thickness is perfect for printing on fabric. It also says "professional" which makes me feel all fancy.

I like to draw directly on the block with a soft pencil. 

Then I carve with a little chisel. The design changes a bit from the original drawing in the cutting process. 

Then print! 

I'm not exactly sure how to print this block -I'll have to experiment a bit more. But what's funny about this is that it doesn't really read as granite to me, maybe more like water. I still like it though! I guess you'll start somewhere but you don't really know where it will lead!