Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Inspiration and Ideas

People often ask me where I get the ideas or inspiration for my drawings. To be honest, they come from almost anywhere. I take tons of photos when I go to the zoo, and often at least one will spark a drawing when I get home. I try to use my own reference photos whenever possible, but sometimes I have an idea that I have no photos for (the humpbacks are an example). Other times, I will read something or see something on TV that will give me an idea. Just the other day, I was reading a book on the big cat art of Guy Coheleach and part of the text reminded me of a scene I saw in a documentary (probably on Animal Planet), with a pride of lions circling a tree containing a leopard and its fresh kill. Suddenly, it was so vivid in my mind that I knew it would be my next drawing. But there's another drawing I want to do of a bald eagle that just came to mind seemingly out of nowhere. I've been working on that one in my head for months now and it's finally coming together to the point where I could start it. Other times, I have to work on a composition. I have a series of square drawings of African mammals, and the square format requires some serious planning.

I keep a notebook with all my ideas for future drawings. I typically work on one at a time, mostly because that's all I have room for, and once I'm finished I go through my list of thumbnail drawings and pick out the one that speaks to me at that moment. Some of my ideas have been around for years, unrealized, because I simply feel more motivated to do something else. And what is the point of starting a project unless you are 100% into it?

21 comments:

Rosy said...

That is so so true at how you come up with ideas at what to draw next.

Like with myself it is usally something that I had seen such as in a magazine some of the time, but most often than not I find that most of my ideas comes from my own feelings, how I am feeling at the time, my life experinces and so fourth then I take that and put that into cartoons or whatever pops into my head.

And I still love those whales yet.

Rosy said...

I do have a question for you...what had motivated you to get into arting wild life? Like at what age was it that first gave you a deep interest into the such?

V said...

"And what is the point of starting a project unless you are 100% into it?"

I don't know, maybe getting a kick start?

Heather M. Ward said...

Rosy, I've been drawing animals as long as I can remember (since 4th grade or so - I don't know about before then). I don't know why, it was the only subject that really interested me.

V, yes, sometimes getting a kick start is necessary, and the motivation follows. But if I have a choice of one idea I'm really excited about, and another not so much, I'll choose the former. I guess that's what I was trying to say.

ThaliaGrace said...

Heather, I have a question for you. Do you ever get that feeling, like you know that whatever you start to draw or paint will turn out badly, or you just don't feel like starting an art project at all? If you do, could you tell me how to fix it?

Heather M. Ward said...

ThaliaGrace, I have gone through periods where I didn't feel like drawing. I think that's okay. I usually take a break of a couple days and the feeling goes away. On the other hand, if you're afraid to start something because you're think you're going to mess it up, I think the best thing to do is push through it. Draw with the realization that what turns out may not be your best, but that's okay. Don't hold any expectations, just keep your drawing hand in motion. Making mistakes is a good thing - it's the best way to learn! I keep a half-done drawing that I did screw up on my wall to remind me of that. I hope this helps.

V said...

i just noticed all your nice paintings, question: How did you get those animals to pose still for such a long time? =P

And did you go to the Gathering of Nations in New Mexico last weekend? Nice art there too.

Pins and Needles said...

wow! just found your blog/site your drawings are amazing! especially your owl and the penguins. really really nice!

Heather M. Ward said...

V - I've been here 7 years and never even heard of the Gathering of Nations! I'll have to go next year.

Thanks, Pins and Needles!

Music in Media said...

Really nice blog you got here :)

i just write blogs about music, it would be great if you could give some of them a read if you have time? :)

http://musicinmedia1.blogspot.com/

Thanks
Rory x

Ashlyn McLendon said...

I love your art work!

King James said...

I really like your artwork. It's excellent, and I wish I could draw like that.

Heather M. Ward said...

Thank you very much, Ashlyn and King.

Graphicx_Press said...

I LIKE YOUR ARTWORK. DO YOU SUGGEST ANY OTHER ARTISTS LIKE YOURSELF THAT I CAN FOLLOW.

Heather M. Ward said...

Graphicx, I assume you mean those with blogs? I have found Clive Meredith to be fascinating, and I follow him and Terry Jackson on Facebook. If you like wildlife in color, I'd recommend Eric Wilson and Jason Morgan.

ethanlarsen said...

Thats pretty cool I can't draw at all.

Raven said...

Wow!

Heather M. Ward said...

Thank you!

Melanie Rawlings said...

i love your work. It nice to hear you keep a journal of sorts. I keep a folder on my desk top of inspiration. I dont ever copie, but sometimes i need a motivational tool, or an image that sparks an idea. Cant wait to see what you do next.

M.Kate said...

The drawings..they are absolutely beautiful and congrats on the mention in blogs of note.

Heather M. Ward said...

Thank you, Melanie and M.Kate.