By Cara Aley.
When you make a living as an artist, there are inevitably people, places, and things that inspire you to create your works of art. It’s always so interesting to learn where our favorite artists draw their inspiration from, so we’re profiling several.
James Taylor. Long-time singer/songwriter James Taylor cites some interesting early guitar and vocal style influences – he went to a boarding school where he was exposed to the Church of England hymnal music night and day. He also cites folk and Celtic music as influences, in addition to Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music.
Taylor also draws upon experiences. His song “Mona” is about his pet pig who died suddenly and sadly. “Fire and Rain” is about his experiences in mental institutions and a friend he lost to suicide. The fire is apparently a reference to shock therapy, and the rain refers to the cold showers after the shock therapy.*
It’s not a wonder this lovely man has had and continues to have such an illustrious career – he can write well about anything and has many life experiences upon which to draw for inspiration.
Tina Fey. Tina Fey cites her dry-witted mother as one of her biggest inspirations when it comes to comedy. They would apparently “play” comedic acts, essentially performing for one another, at the dinner table. Dad was also an influence, in that he introduced Tina and her brother to the Marx Brothers and the Threes Stooges.
She cites Laverne & Shirley as a potential direct influence for her hilarious movie Baby Mama.**
This woman is not only hilarious, but also clearly quite humble and grounded – I love that she cites her parents as such big influences on her work and success today.
Salvador Dalí. Dalí’s incredible paintings were influenced by a number of interesting factors. Sigmund Freud’s writing about dreams and the unconscious were critical inspirations, as were Renaissance masters like Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
According to Wikipedia, “Dalí attributed his ‘love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes’ to a self-styled ‘Arab lineage,’ claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.”***
Well, this was one character I would have loved to meet in person – one could undoubtedly draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from him!
Taylor Swift. For many, Taylor is a favorite performing artist. It’s pretty common knowledge that if you so much as go on one date with Taylor Swift, you will likely be the inspiration for one of her next songs. Sorry, John Mayer, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Joe Jonas – you are never, EVER getting back together.
What or whom inspires you in your creative pursuits? Let us know and inspire us!