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Who inspires you?

According to Kaufman in Harvard Business Review  inspiration helps us move from 'apathy to possibility', even changing how we view our own abilities.

Artists like PINK and Taylor Swift have got a lot of coverage lately about their influence.

But who is it in your world?

I'm going to take you on a bit of a reflection through this and will share some of my answers about one person- but I encourage you to answer these questions for yourself.

So ask, "Who inspires me?" I'll stick with people who are alive and keep it simple. A few who come to mind are my favourite Australia artist Annemieke Mein. You might ask "Who is that?" This Dutch-born lady is my favourite Australian visual artist. Annemieke started making artworks about nature, in textiles back in the1970's.           

Do look her up it's worth it.

Once you've named them think about what about them inspires you?

This is a time when abstract was king, working in fabrics considered 'crafty' not art, and of course she is female. Despite this Annemieke kept working and when the chance to exhibit her artworks happened the response by viewers was amazing and still is. We lived for 6 months a few kilometres from her, but with 3 young children and another one on the way I thought "I won't do a workshop now, I'll come back one day."   Famous last words; not long after Annemieke stopped doing workshops, but didn't stop creating.

What would you like to learn from them?

Well, Annemieke's love for nature shines through;

  • she charted her own creative path despite what others did, or said;

  • Annemieke spent a lot of time in the field- observing, drawing, trying to understand;

  • and is VERY organised. The records of her artworks and processes are incredible;

  • She also valued her creations (and priced them according to what they were worth).

How can you put some of these inspirational things into your life?

Now, as you can see, my artwork and ways of creating are quite different to Annemieke's, but inspired by all of the above I try and stay more organised, and when my studio gets a bit out-of-control  I think about Annemieke and her ways of working.

When it comes to pricing my artworks I remember that if I don't value what I do, how can I expect others to? Now that's not to say I think my works should cost millions (the minority of artists reach that level), but it is fair to not work for $5/hour anymore.

I'd like to get better at compositions like her and this is still a 'growth area!'

Is there a chance I can get to know them better? There might be interviews, or have a mutual friend. Maybe you could meet them? If you know them have you told them they inspire you?

I know it's not necessarily  the Australian way to do that, but why not give it a go. Perhaps a letter or an email is easier.

As part of my University work I got to meet Annemieke in 2015 and tell her some of that, then caught up with her again a few years later.

Even if you never meet them and can't let them know they inspire you, it's good to have inspirational people in our lives.

So although I'm 'no Annemieke' she inspires and encourages me.

Now there is a retrospective (i.e. an exhibition of her works over many years) opening Friday March 1 in Sale Victoria and last year I was asked to write an essay for the book that is being released with it! I will see her again at the opening. And I'm pretty excited.


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