Today I had an "aha!" moment on a writing project, turning it into much more. My chosen project as part of my Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach training is to write a book (or article, depending on how it all turns out) based on some of my Dad's stories about his experiences growing up. The first story/experience is about helping to wire the farmhouses around the town where he drew up, in 1938. It's been evolving in my head, and had developed into an appreciative comparison of his growing-up years, without electricity, and my life, which was surrounded by electricity and conveniences therefrom.
So, the cross-pollenation happened today while I was watching a quilting video, and it hit me: this is history, I'm a quilter (in addition to a writer, albeit amateur).....this is perfect for an appreciative quilt comparison, too. I can research traditional quilt blocks that help to tell the stories of Dad's life, but also design modern, art quilts that express them, too: representing his era, and mine. Each informs the other. And the book just changed and expanded, better than it would have been without that cross-pollenation.
And so, it seems to me, it is with arts. They aren't ideated (is that a word?) or created in a vacuum, away from other arts and experiences. Artists find inspiration in so many different places and objects and experiences, including other art forms. Whether you consider yourself to be an artist in "just" one form, or you dabble in many, generations of artists in countless media and forms contribute to the world's experiences, and inform everyone's artistic ventures.
When I am knitting or crocheting, the patterns and colors and textures become a part of my creative body of work and will no doubt appear, in some form, in quilting or in writing or spinning or even developing slides for presentations and classes I do for work. When I see a painting in a gallery or on the web, my brain files away my impressions and memorable aspects. I'll never copy that painting but a color combination, or a texture or general impression will become a part of me and my creative life. Nature's art is a constant inspiration, and my gardening brings more to the art party.
The many wonderful friends I have made through dabbling in various arts also inform and enrich my creative life, in more ways than I could describe. You all know what I mean.
No work of art (and whether we are making a quilt or knitting a scarf or writing a book, it IS art) is born out of nothing. It is all of pieces of everything we see, learn, and experience. What a glorious life we have, surrounded by inspiration, waiting to feed our creativity.