What inspires you?

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Art, Maggie's New Art, Maggie's Studio News, Motivation | 2 comments

Furry Friends, altered book art by Virginia Beach Artist, Maggie Kerrigan www.thebookartist.com

Furry Friends (using The God of All Animals)

People ask me questions about my book art all the time. There is no doubt it’s an unusual medium, and not the kind of art you typically see in someone’s home. When a visitor is in my studio, they always want to know how I get my ideas, how I learned to make the books, what motivates me and more.

For a few weeks in my blog, I’ll share some of those questions and my responses.

What inspires you?

In a nutshell: solving a problem.

When I start working on a project, the most exciting part is working out HOW to do it.  Of all the stages of an art project, this is the most exciting:  gleaning of an idea to explore, and then figuring out HOW to actually do it.

Sometimes idea is very broad, such as the theme for a show, and I need to figure out a way to address that theme.

Process photo of altered book art by Virginia Beach artist, Maggie Kerrigan

I found a lantern-style lampshade and am transforming it with stars cut from book pages.

For example, there is a show next month called “Capturing the Light.” So I’ve been tossing around the problem of how to incorporate the concept of light into a piece of book art. I’ve played around with meanings, various ways to illustrate an idea, and the different books with titles that might relate. When I found this Japanese-lantern lampshade in a thrift store, all the ideas came together.

Other times, there is a specific book, and I am searching for the best way to reinvent it.

Book that will eventually become altered book art by Virginia Beach artist Maggie Kerrigan

It will become a piece of altered book art…someday!

A paperback copy of The Secret Life of Bees has been on my shelf for over a year. Every now and then I’ll see the book and start tossing around ideas for what to do with it. (Stay tuned, because I think I’m finally on to something!)

No matter which way the idea arrives, there is always a high degree of problem solving involved before I can even get started. Is it the thrill of the chase?

Sometimes the concept works itself out rather quickly, especially if there is a time deadline looming. Other times, the concept takes quite a while to evolve.  Regardless, I find it very exciting the moment when the answer becomes clear. And that excitement sustains me throughout the whole project.

So now it’s my turn:  What inspires you?

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  1. I’m inspired by finding the beautiful or the sunnyside of all things. It can be a challenge, but I know that where there is God, there is beauty.

  2. My inspiration is the desire to share my adventures and travels with others; to show how incredible the world is that we live on.

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