My ‘Inspiration’

Earlier this evening I was reviewing the contents of my “Inspiration” folder. It is a little folder that resides on my personal share on my server. The folder contains images I have collected for a while, most of which are very personal to me. The images represent my artistic and aesthetic interests. The folder contains a lot of pictures of muscular men, vases, bowls, and a variety of others I have collected over time. This folder is strange in that it reflects who I am at any given moment. I change moods and feelings so much, but this folder is always a strong collection of how I feel and whats on my mind over a longer period of time.
I started this folder several years ago when I first met Ms. Joan Tweedy, my first ceramics instructor. She told several of us who she felt were destined to enter ceramics as more than just an academic interest that we should begin collecting pictures of things that excited us and made us want to create. She stated to use walls for “active” interests and a box for “collecting”. I took this a little more metaphorically and began collecting imagery in a folder on the server. I have used this folder off-and-on through my artistic adventures.
I started this entry with the title “Being Gay and An Artist”, because a lot of the images in the folder are naked or half naked men, or little things from fetish interests I have. I looked at the folder and sort of had to giggle about how weird I have been about my aesthetic interests that have mixed with my erotic interests, because when those interests are shared, it comes down to aesthetics. I like it because its pretty! I have avoided including some aspects of the Inspiration in my work because I don’t want to be a gay artist, I want to be an artist who is also gay. When looking at the things I have focused on in the folder, most of the stuff seems really harmless, even if I were straight. The picture of chain, or the picture of a bicep could be integrated into something without risking anything. There is even a great symbolism that can be pulled from the picture of a tan muscled guy who is bound tightly in white rope.
If I am to become a serious artist, I think I must review my Inspiration folder and take it seriously, every last byte of information there is precious. Things I care about are there, they aren’t in some random still life.