I’ve been super busy building my skillset and planning some stuff around Moonphase Creative headquarters—and with holidays fast approaching, I thought, why not add one more thing to my pile of crazy.
Because that “one more thing” excites me, and that is: connecting with you.
I want to make it a habit now, before Christmas dinners and Fall potlucks steal me away entirely. I love family and friends, but—and we’ve all heard it, rarely honor it—we need to take time for self-care. My number one passion in self-care is largely browsing Instagram and being inspired by some amazing artists.
As I make a Holiday Pact to connect more, both on and off the social media screen, I wanted to share with you what drives me to be passionately rooted in a personal creative practice. The following five artists are just a few of many who inspire my own personal and creative practice. I’m linking them all so you can explore what I mean!
- Willowing aka Tam
Whimsical, bright colors are a staple in this artist’s work. She has life mission that she describes on her website as being “to help make this world a better place.” I found Willowing on Instagram, and now I even own one of her printed books! Her style focuses on self-expression with lots of color and layers, with a mixed-media approach that is meant to go beyond the purely visual and speak as a sort of creative therapy and journaling experience.
As I struggled to find my place in the world of creative living, this Willowing was definitely a voice I tuned in to help hear my own inner-voice calling to me. My work is decidedly different, and for now my creative path has me less in the classroom and more in the studio—but certainly, the way I envision art as a healing tool, and the creative process part of a journey bigger than ourselves, is something I find echoed in the work of Tam.
Her work is widely celebrated, and she offers classes, workshops, and (as I mentioned) her Life Book is an amazing thing to keep around for your creative perusal and delving into the creative side of self-help.
- Terri Foss
I’m not sure when or how I found Terri Foss on Instagram, but I’m so happy I did. Her work is ethereal and mysterious, and she seems to tap from such a place of soul-sweet authenticity, it’s always a treat to soak in her wonderful images.
I had to include her here, if nothing else because it is the time of year when we are particularly tuning in to the spiritual and celebrating pumpkins, witches, and the harvest magic—all of which Foss delivers with a particular finesse and artistic skill.
I think her artistic voice particularly inspired me to create for the sake of creating, experimenting for the sake of creating, and not feeling I had to figure out “what sells” when it came to subject matter. Her ample reserves of followers is definite proof that doing what you love best can garner success and visibility. That authenticity she possesses translates into her work with passion and soul, which is ultimately what any artist can hope for.
- Simone Grunewald aka Schmoedraws
As a mom, I sometimes feel like it’s hard to get out the paint, or ink, or clay—because Little People. My little people want to help, they want to play, they want to… spill stuff.
I love @schmoedraws because her Instagram feed of personal art is like a hilarious comic of life with a little person. She has great energy and amazing storytelling in her Instagram, which never fails to ring true to me on some personal level.
I’ve learned so much from her posts and helpful tidbits. Moms are artists, too, and even though her day job is doing other stuff, I love that she is finding the time and energy to capture the daily joys of parenthood for the pleasure of social media.
- Lois van Baarle aka Loish
Known as Loish, Lois van Baarle is basically all things #goals for so many artists. Her work is total eye-candy, with masterful use of color and a really strong sense of composition, storytelling, and character design. A freelance illustrator and animator, she take the age-old craft to a new level with her mix of classical control and digital art pioneering.
I’m not much of a digital artist and generally prefer fine art, but one of the things I love about her work, is the way she uses digital as a tool, not a crutch. That is to say, I feel like looking at her sketches and drawings are like looking into the sketchbooks of artists in history. There is a fine looping and scrawling of gestural lines, an exquisite capturing of energy and movement that I feel is usually best caught in traditional media. However, when she renders digitally, she manages to keep the traditional 2d feel often times, and enhances her painting with digital effects, lighting, and other tools in a way that doesn’t compromise the soulful nature of her subjects.
- Laia Lopez
I think I found @itslopez from following Loish, whom I discussed above. Her new book Gleaming is coming out soon, and although I don’t even speak Spanish (just enough to embarrass myself, really), I probably need to reserve a copy. I love her adorable character and animated style.
Spain-based illustrator, Laia Lopez, creates adorable characters full of emotion that really fits well with the tween/teen demographic that her work largely caters to. I feel like her personal love of art is so fresh and apparent in her work, her catalog of characters could inspire me for days.
I chose artists that are largely diverse in their style, application, and purpose in art. It’s so important to fill our pages with experiments and new things; it’s just as important to look beyond the familiar and seek out all types of inspiration.
I would love to know—who or what is inspiring you along your own creative journey?