Remember when I said, “Don’t court your muse”? I must admit it is hard. Creating when you don’t feel like it isn’t ever easy. I am a member of several artist Facebook groups and a common theme is “what do you do when you don’t want to paint” We all have our “go to” plans, I have several. 1) Look at other art. Find some artists that inspire you and go to their pages to be inspired. 2) Look at the success of those who make you feel challenged. There are always those that are succeeding in ways that make you envious. I look at where they are and what they are doing to drive me to doing something wild. 3) Troll facebook.

I am a facebook troller. I look at my friends’ photos all the time. I have several of them that post the most amazing things that inspire me. Now, here is where things get interesting. I ASK to use their photos. I tell everyone where the images came from. I brag on my friends, talk about their exploits and how amazing they are. My friends deserve it, if only because they let me paint the photos. I have friends in foreign countries that let me use their images. I know there are those who believe that as an artist, we should control the creation from the image to the end. I agree for the most part but some of my most amazing creations came from a collaboration of images, someone’s photo and my hand.

There are shows that I apply for that will tell you not to submit images that were from other people’s photos. I am prolific enough that I have several that I painted from my own photographs. Be honest and honorable in all things with this business. Do as promoters ask. Don’t cut corners. If you want to submit to a competition show and they say, “Must come from artists own images” by god… Organizations have a long memory and they keep records.

Speaking of records, make sure you keep evidence of the permission given. I take screen shots of the permission so that I always have it. Generally, the photographers don’t care if you have it or not, but gallery owners do. I also have a caveat; I am small time. I hope to be national someday. At that time, I will be vulnerable to people who change their mind. So consider who your source is and treat them always with respect. They deserve it.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.