Inspiration: Mucha

mucha-spoof At the head of the list of awkward questions to ask creative people:  'where do you get your ideas?'

If you've ever asked a creative person this and gotten a exasperated glare in response, try not to take it personally. You're just the eleventy-seventh person to ask that question, and about 85% of the time, the artist you're questioning has no idea where their inspiration came from. I'll save my Freudian speculations on why that might be for another time, because right now I'm introducing an irregular feature on Spiral-Bound Sketches.  Basically, when I title something 'Inspiration', that post will be one of  the 15% of the time when I do know where my inspiration is coming from, and I'll try to explain it. Either you will find this enlightening, or it will convince you that all artists are crazy, to varying degrees.

So, on to today's post. Recently, I had an excuse to send one of my friends a letter. Normally, I'm not one to send letters. The only time in my life where I sent regular letters was from the age six to twelve, where I was required to send my Great Grandmother a letter once a week. As you might imagine, a six year old isn't going to be much for sentence structure, so I started out sending mostly pictures, with a few words. Eventually the words got to take up more of the content of the mailing, but the picture part was always there too. So now, when I do send a letter, it feels a little odd if I don't include some sort of drawing in it.

This friend of mine has a favorite artist, by the name of Alphose Mucha.  I've learned that I can influence my sketching style (as many authors can influence their writing style) by consuming an awful lot of one unique artist. So I looked at a lot of Mucha. (I did a similar thing with Mike Mignola in March.) This is a fast process (about an hour) when I share major stylistic qualities with the artist I'm trying to ape.  In this case, both Mucha and I love to do clearly outlined forms, and we like to draw ladies who sit around looking pretty.

So that's how this came about. As to the exact subject, I couldn't come up with a single thing to write. So this lady with a blank piece of paper in front of her was going to be sort of an apology for being really bad at writing letters, but then the drawing itself took too long to finish, so I didn't wind up sending the letter.


But hey, blog post.