Finding inspiration: where to start?

A great thing about being in art school is that you’re exposed to so many great artists of the past and present.

From all sides and in all mediums, I’ve been thrown the names of artists by my teachers for future reference or to become potential inspiration for my work. And as a student, I want to learn more about them and their work, but it can be a daunting task to explore all of these artists and feel overwhelming.

I’m in the second year of my BFA and I’m majoring in Sculpture and Installation. I have no idea what kind of media I want my work to be represented. Is it metal or is it plaster? Is it bronze or is it textiles? Do I want objects to speak for my ideas or do I venture into performance art?

In a way, it’s OK that I don’t k now. I’ve just started my major and I’m still figuring stuff out. And I’m certainly not alone in this journey. However, I don’t find a lot of comfort in that.

Right now, I’m taking various classes that are required by my program along with electives in subjects that interest me. I’m taking a course where we look at the study of semiotics, and the study of the body and of the physical space that surrounds us. Another class focuses on 3D technology can help build our sculpture by using technology and non-traditional materials. Another class focuses on theory and practices in contemporary art. My fourth class is probably the most fun in which I’m learning about textiles and its various practices like weaving and basketry.

And I’m really enjoying all of my classes. I like how I’m learning different practices from different artists across the large spectrum of sculpture art. Sculpture isn’t one medium but it’s a whole bunch of mediums. But I have no clue about which artist can inspire me. Up until now, my inspirations have been mainly photographers because I have identified myself as a photographer for many years. Now, I’m an “artist” or “multidisciplinary artist” which sounds vague and can mean many things. Which artist or artists will provide me with some sort of inspiration in my art practice? Where to start?

My solution to this dilemma is explore all of the names of artists my teachers have mentioned, and the ones I have found on my personal explorations. I want to write a post about them and their work, or perhaps one of their works, as a “get to know the artist”. It’s the only way that I can learn my practice, and the only way that my practice can evolve is to study other artists. Instead of getting overwhelmed, I’m going to focus on one artist per week and go from there.

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I’ve already created a list of the artists that come to mind. Fifteen is a good number to start with. Already there’s other names that are coming to mind. I will see what happens after this project hopefully, all good stuff!


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