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inspiration in everything




This post has been inspired by one of my heroes: sir paul smith.

Tomorrow i’ll be going to the v&a to listen to a talk by sir paul smith where he discusses his work and career and how we can find inspiration from everything, from the most exotic to the most mundane. I first heard this talk (probably updated now) at tate britain when his incredible book: you can find inspiration in everything…and if you can’t, look again was published in paperback in 2003. The hardback version came out in 2001. There are some books you can never get enough of.

It was the first time i had the pleasure to listen to sir paul smith and remember thinking how fortunate i was to be in the same room and listen to real ‘nuggets’. I’ve since been to hear more talks and every time come away elated, inspired, and full of creative hope. I’m so excited about tomorrow and believe that there’s still some tickets available.

So, you can find inspiration in everything. In december 2007 icon issue, there’s another fantastic example of this. (you can read the full article by clicking on the link).

The other day, when a little overwhelmed with too much work and a far too long to do list, i jumped on my vespa and went out for a little ‘thinking time’ and inspiration. I am working on many different processes and so the idea of a finished product did not appeal. What is it about the ‘raw state’ of something that can be alluring and teach us something? If inspiration is in everything, then, surely, it is also in the aesthetically challenged, the unfinished, the crude and disturbing.

I’m sure some of you will find these images grotesque or, dare i say, not pretty. I’m hoping that most of you will see the potential, the ‘what could be’, the ‘beginning of something new, the inspiration for colour schemes, fashion textiles, texture and patterns.

Me, i am going to listen to sir paul enlighten me further on you can find inspiration in everything…and if you can’t, look again!

Happy Monday everyone. Belated happy mother’s day to my american readers.

Oh, i couldn’t quite leave you with such challenging images, so here’s a little something. Who doesn’t love a bit of coloured crane?

31 Responses to “inspiration in everything”

  1. Igor says:

    I am totally with you here. In my opinion, inspiration is really everywhere around. You just have to open your eyes and see. I mean how often do we have open eyes but don’t see a thing?? That’s the clue…

    • tina says:

      N’est pas??? Ah, yes, open your eyes and see, if it would only be so easy!!! Merci or Toda raba:)

  2. Nicola says:

    I agree, inspiration is everywhere and I find the world to be divided by those who notice things and those who don’t.

    I love cranes, always have. If you watch them in motion as they move around, as well as to front and back, they are an elegant fluid art form.

    • tina says:

      Yep. I believe you belong to the club of the people who notice things:)

      I love cranes too, the more the merrier and the more colourful the better. When they were building the Emirates Stadium (Arsenal) there were so many cranes and I used to stand on my roof terrace and just admire the scenery…

  3. Jennifer says:

    Tina. I’m embarrassed to ask if it is the designer Paul Smith you are talking about? I had no idea he had written a book but it looks lovely! Reminds me of a Sibella Court book I love. What a great idea to go for a ride to get refreshed and inspired! I’ve been in a slump creatively lately and a walk outside maybe just what I need too. Great photos too – it is the process that makes me happiest, I just feel overwhelmed sometimes and wish it was all just done. Have a great time at the lecture – wonder if they put any of them online??

    • tina says:

      Never be embarassed to ask anything:) Yes, it’s the fashion designer…

      Oh, do I not know the creative slumps well…. when in one I do need to get myself away quick, anywhere. A walk, a ride on my Vespa, a game of tennis or go watch a film or read a book. It has to be something else that will absorb me and get me out of that ‘rut’ I’m in.

      Feeling overwhelmed…. let’s not open a can of worms lovely Jennifer.

      Sometimes they put events/talks online but doubt that this will be one of them.

  4. Love the images of the delapidated buildings and look forward to hearing more about Sir Paul’s talk. No doubt it will give you some more material for your 30DC. Have a fab time x

    • tina says:

      Glad you ‘get’ the delapidated buildings. How’s the 30DC going?
      Yeah, really looking forward to today’s talk. I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with work, projects, courses etc so going to being inspired always helps to keep me sane. Last night’s The School of Life event was incredible. I’m a huge fan and today should be amazing too. x

  5. Tina – I completely agree with you on finding inspiration everywhere, especially in unfinished things. I love nothing more than to visit ruins of old houses and imagine what I can do with them. I am still renovating (in my head of course) a house I saw 2 years ago! Endless amounts of inspiration and just fun to daydream :)

    • tina says:

      Oh, it’s nice to visualise and dream and create in our heads. That’s so important and keeps our creative juices flowing. I like that you are ‘still renovating:)’ a house you saw a couple of years ago…. that’s lovely. Yes, here’s to daydreaming!! x

  6. Toni says:

    I love huge concrete building and I’m always finding inspiration in industrial buildings
    Inspiration is definitely everywhere we just have to look.

    Looking forward to the Paul Smith talk this pm.

  7. Thank you for the link to the december 2007 icon issue.
    I love his comment,
    ‘I walk a lot, and I’m always noticing random things’.
    I feel that way about Paris…
    The French are completely crazy for Paul Smith.
    His windows everywhere are the wittiest.
    I wish I could find some spoken links for him…
    merci carolg

    • tina says:

      Hi Carol, I took the photos of my icon magazine and when then trying to link to the magazine saw that it was available to read. I’ve always loved that article.

      Last time I saw Sir Paul speak was a couple of years ago at The Design Museum. He talked about why his brand has done well in the recession and attributed it to his passion for using local architecture to design his shops around the world. He particularly liked one or two in Paris and I love his shops as much, if not more, than his products.

      I would love to see Paris through your eyes one day… when O next visit we can go on a ‘Carol walking tour’. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Lauren says:

    I just love that “end of bus lane” photo! They’re all lovely aren’t they? Stages of decay and rebirth can be surprisingly stunning, I find. My very first photography teacher had a project where she took photos of fruits and vegetables in decay and the pictures were so gorgeous that you never knew what her subject really was! And it sounds like your talk was really inspiring! I’ve been in such a funk lately that these pictures were really soothing to me, although I think a quick ride on your Vespa would cheer me right up, too! ;)

    • tina says:

      I like your teachers project. That sounds really facinating…

      The talk was really good. He’s such an inspiring, down to earth guy.
      I think a lot of us are having a hard time at the moment. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going… hang in there:)

  9. Theresa says:

    Ok, my first thought: I need to get a Vespa. ;)
    “Find inspiration in everything.” I like this idea (and your accompanying photos), and life practice. I think I need to put this idea into practice today. The last two days, I’ve been feeling out of sorts. (Sounds like a couple of us are experiencing this feeling right now.) It’s not a creative rut – I’m full of ideas. It’s a lost mojo-rut. Anyway, I know it will pass; It always does. Visiting all my favorite peeps and commenting has definitely helped. Thanks for always being a great source of inspiration, Tina!
    PS~The Paul Smith talk sounds amazing. Wish I could have tagged along.

    • tina says:

      Darling, you have 2 little kids, not sure a Vespa is a good idea at this stage of your life:)

      I was just saying to Lauren, we are all struggling a little at the moment.
      I just have far too much to do and all projects require creative thinking so feeling overwhelmed with everything. And then there is normal life stuff.
      Anyway, as you so wisely said, this too will pass.

      You would have loved the Paul Smith talk…:)

  10. annie says:

    ‘I walk a lot, and I’m always noticing random things’.
    Um yep that pretty much sums me up!

    Well you know I love Paul Smith. I’ve had his book in my basket for ages and you’ve inspired me to click the buy button. What’s the difference between that and the A-Z one do you know? Perhaps I need both in my life!

    Talk looked awesome, very envious indeed. x

    • tina says:

      The books are very different. The latest one is more of a glossy A-Z of what PS likes… it’s cute. The other one is much more meaty and more satisfying to me. They both have their place.

      Talk was great. Always wonderful to be in his presence. He’s so down to earth, it’s inspiring!

  11. annie says:

    And just read that icon article. what a fab post! I love the policeman’s hook :)

  12. Holly says:

    MORE AMAZING pictures :) Your second one inspires me most.

    I think inspiration drives action and is therefore essential to life. I also agree that inspiration can be found everywhere – and if not, we should definitely “look again”, but we should be open to do so with all our senses.

    Great post Tina xoxo

    • tina says:

      With all sense, I agree with that. Lately I’ve not been ‘looking’as much as I normally do and I feel it in my body and stress levels. To stop, look and absorb is vital.

      Hope you’re well. Will be in touch x

  13. Hi Tina. Good to hear that Paul Smith didn’t disappoint. The idea of inspiration in everything makes so much sense to me. It’s one of the reasons I love Instagram so much. Capturing those random moments is important.

    I am very taken with the notion of “ruin porn” as being creatively inspiring. There is something very real, often enigmatic and alluring to me about the decay of buildings. I’m still working out in my head why I feel this way… what’s at the core.

    Great post! xx

    • tina says:

      PS’s talk was great as usual… might blog about it:)

      Instagram is awesome and ye, it captures those moments brillinatly. So the here and now. I wish we could capture ‘feelings’ like this and record them visually.
      There’s another idea for some techy whizz kid!!

      Of course, now I remember your post on ‘ruin porn”. People, take a read. Really inspiring!!!
      http://www.walnutgreydesign.com/blog/ruin-porn-as-creative-inspiration/

      Nice re-vamp of your website Mr Grey. Thank you for your comment. xx

      • Do blog about the PS talk. Thanks for the blog mention. New website revamp is due to be ready on Monday :-) And I think capturing feelings would be incredible… for now, words and images will have to suffice xx

  14. Micki says:

    Classic with a twist – is there anything more to say :-)?
    Find inspiration in everything. What a challange to make us going out of bed early in the morning…

    • tina says:

      Yes, open your eyes, especially since you have the same way to work on a daily basis… x

  15. […] to begin? Well, let’s begin with my own crush on Paul Smith. There are only a couple of designers that have influenced me on a deep level. Paul […]

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