What inspires the Limitless artists?

What inspires the Limitless artists?

With Limitless V-Exhibition now live we sat down with some of our exhibiting artists to find out more about what inspires them, what the exhibition means to them and what gets their creative juices flowing.

What/who inspires you?

Jo Salmon: There are so many things that inspire me. It can be another artist’s painting, music, movie or even a walk along the beach or in the woods. I can also feel inspired by emotions or mood. Even funny or difficult moments in life.

JoAnne Salmon Artwork Lemon
Lemon by JoAnne Salmon, 2021

Isobel Stenhouse: At the very beginning, it was Disney. For me what it was about Disney, in particular it was the high quality and even though it’s very stylised, there’s something quite realistic about the exaggerated realism. 

In terms of influences now it’s people that draw and paint realistically. So there’s one artist whose work I’ll look at and I feel like if I was really brilliant that’s what I’d like my really brilliant work to look like. It’s a guy called Darek Zabrocki and he did images for Mouse Guard. I just love those particular series of images; they’re kind of my benchmark for what I’d love to go for. Then there’s Djamila Knopf who has such a nice sense of storytelling in her images.

Isobel Stenhouse artwork Visitng Granny
Visiting Granny by Isobel Stenhouse, 2021

There’s also Ian McEwan, his concept art and studies are just powerful, so strong and the sort of thing that wows me. I love seeing graphic art like from Robh Ruppel, you know, he’s fantastic and methodical in the way that he works. 

Emma Niemis: I think a lot of animated media such as films, TV shows and videogames inspire my art, especially magic realism stories which introduce something otherworldly and change our reality. From my early love of Tim Burton’s creatures and his illustrations, I now find inspiration from the imaginations of such artists as Emily Carroll, writer Haruki Murakami and filmmaker Jan Švankmajer.

What do you get from being creative in your spare time?

Jo Salmon: I get a sense of freedom and peace when I am creating. I feel connected in a way as I can see my imagination coming to life in the sketch, painting or animation in front of me. And also a sense of pride and release as it feels like I have let the imagination in me free. 

Isobel Stenhouse: The main thing I got was the hunger to move from production back into an artistic role, which has been a great move. However, there is a difference between producing work for a studio or for yourself. When working on my own thing, I don’t usually have a clear vision beforehand of what I’m going to paint, so it’s fun to see what emerges. That’s my way of playing!

emma niemis steve
Steve by Emma Niemis, 2020

Emma Niemis: Being creative in my spare time makes me feel like I am progressing, especially during the pandemic as everything just came to a stop, I felt like I needed to be creative to keep myself moving forward. It also brings me joy to bring something to life that comes from my imagination, as soon as a concept pops into my head or I put a sketch to paper I will always have an itch to make it physical.

Jess Mountfield: I think creative people naturally let creativity overflow outside their working lives – so being creative in your spare time is often something that just comes naturally and feels right. I find drawing, sculpting, felting – whatever it is – to be hugely meditative and satisfying. I like to have something physical at the end of time spent doing something (like with cooking!) so I find it hugely rewarding to step back from a jumble of felt or a mess of balsa wood and see something starting to take shape.

What does exhibiting in the Limitless exhibition mean to you?

Jo Salmon: It means a great deal! I am so honoured to get the chance to show my art along with such talented people!

Isobel Stenhouse: I’m so grateful for the chance to show my artwork and be seen as an artist in my own right, after several years of working in production. It also gave me the momentum to produce new work, and to learn new skills as I did so.  

Emma Niemis: Exhibiting in the Limitless exhibition feels very special to me because it is a unique space where I can showcase my own personal artwork alongside other fantastic likeminded women. From the beginning I have been so welcomed and supported by the team in such a difficult time for all of us, I instantly felt that I was so lucky to be a part of this amazing and very rewarding experience.

Jess Blanket Isle of Tapestry
Isle of Tapestry by Jess Mountfield, 2021

Jess Mountfield: It’s wonderful to be a part of a group of diverse women who are creating such a wide range of works outside of their professional practice. I find it motivating, encouraging, and it’s prompted me to want to try out lots more techniques and materials based on what I’ve seen other people experimenting with.

You can visit the Limitless V-Exhibition now. Limitless V-Exhibition will run until Thursday 14th October. 

Read more about our featured artists here: part 1 and part 2.

Plus, hear more about what inspires one of our exhibiting artists, Isobel Stenhouse.

Please do also follow our Facebook page, where you can ask the artists questions, provide feedback and find out more about some of our artists!

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