Inspiration is what keeps me in-love with life. My primary inspiration is nature. The interplay of shape, colour and texture in nature is idyllic. To me, it is everything I aspire for in my life: balance.
Let me start with colour. The favourite part of my day is sunrise â€“ I adore the colours and the excitement of everything waking up. The above pictures are taken from my house (I know, I am very very lucky :)). Colour brings so many things to life, it is the richness in our lives. The first thing I do when I wake up is decide not what to wear, but what I colour I feel like wearing that day. Colour is very central in my life and the no-rule colour-pallette of nature amazes me.
For example, take a close look at the flower collage above and you will find fiery red, fushcia pink, white – the whole rainbow together creating a magical combination. This proves that contrasts can and do work in harmony.
Another inspiration with colour is the way it is used in Africa. People are not afraid to express, wear and experiment with colour and African ladies who either wear traditional clothing or apply this mentality to their daily wardrobes radiate with the riches of colour.
I grew up in Botswana and I remember spotting Herero women wearing traditional dress (above) from northern Namibia. Their dresses were so colourful, beautiful and I was captivated. These images are still very clear in my memory and make me smile. I love the way that Africa ‘dares’ with colour.
Moving to form and shape – nature is full silhouettes that I draw inspiration from. Below are some examples of both simple shapes and intricately complex designs.
Look at the flower study by Brian Johnson above and see how one can look deeply into something and find the most amazing details. Do you see the star pattern on the reverse side of the Queen Anne’s lace umbela? Look at the antique dried flower prints above and notice the fantastic silhouettes of the plants! I also love botanical studies such as Clinton Friedman’s photographs of South African flora above. The leaf silhouette is so beautiful and I love the King Protea picture the most I think. I could stare at it for hours. I find interpreting and transcending elements of nature to create new form very exciting.
I also find the way in which everything flows, evolves and creates emotion in nature wonderful. Watching water trickle over a stream is mesmerising. This water rushes but calms. The above picture was taken on an outing with my boyfriend to Kirstenbosch gardens. I love these extreme contrasts. One of my favourite emotional qualities of nature is how it does not judge â€“ I can be me with all my imperfections and inadequacies. Nature accepts me as I am at that very moment. To be in and around nature calms, soothes and grounds me. I always ask, “how can I portray and carry such emotions to and through my design?”.
Sustainable principles tie in with the inspiration of nature.
We live in a consumer orientated world where we take, take and take. To give back offers balance. The challenge to be inspired by sustainable principles to me is very important so I take it upon myself that with every thing I design and create to include a â€˜gives backâ€™ aspect, in however small way.
Nature is beauty in itâ€™s purest form to me.
One of my favourite quotes, which I cannot end such a post without, is by Salvador Dali. He said: “An artist is not one who is inspired, but one who can inspire others.” I think this is very true and so above everything, when I design, I design to inspire.