Who are your favorite artists/illustrators? Who and where do you get most of your inspiration from? How do you generate your ideas and concepts for a piece?
Some of my favorite artists and illustrators are Carson Ellis, Matthew Woodson, Andrew Wyeth, Landland, Michelle Morin, Anna Bond, Riikka Sormunen, Oana Befort, Meg Hunt, Jon Contino, Aiko Fukawa, Stephanie Graegin, Maryanna Hoggatt, Rebecca Green, Bill Rebholz, Micah Lidberg, Studio KXX, and a bunch more I’m forgetting right now. I am always most inspired by work with a folk art look to it, which largely fails to come through in my own work (I’m eternally fighting a losing battle against my natural tendency towards detail and realism and orderliness). I have an illustration pinboard here if you want to see more specifically what I dig.
My ideas and main inspiration come from nature. Whenever I can, I go exploring nature sites around Minnesota with my boyfriend or friends. We follow animal paths around in the woods, walk on frozen swamps, get covered in burrs while pushing through overgrown fields, discover factory ruins, try to make friends with seagulls along the north shore of lake superior, swim in mysteriously pink lake water, collect stray feathers and interesting-looking acorns, (are still learning to) canoe in the wilderness of the boundary waters where loons live, save caterpillars from certain death, find places with unlimited supplies of deer bones, get yelled at by woodpeckers, freak out over spotting deer beds, find out what tiny bits of ice sound like clinking together where they collected on the banks of the St Croix, bury found bird heads and come back for the skull a year later, find the first tiny green things growing under compressed layers of leaves in early spring, let teeny tiny fish nibble our toes, follow the far-off sounds of wild turkeys, admire all the beautiful lichens that grow on rocks and tree branches north of Duluth, and have many a heartbroken funeral for wild animals we never got to meet. I do not know how to both go outside and run out of ideas for things to draw, that does not make sense to me. Also, I try to take pictures of some of the places I go — I have not updated in a very long time, but you can find them here.