Grow Your Artistic Pumpkin Patch (Part 2)


It’s fall! We made it through Halloween and the leaves are working their way down. We watched the Charlie Brown halloween special and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with our kids. In my corner of the universe, fall is a time of insane busy-ness, and it's also a time for reflection (when I can squeeze it in).

My kids were born in the fall. Because their births were not easy, my anxiety and existential angst tends to peak in the fall. Simultaneously, we have so much joy celebrating the arrival of both our amazing humans (and who doesn't love cake??) Fall symbolizes the time of year when everything is at it's lightest and darkest all at the same time. 

As the leaves come down we’re reminded of how nature is entering a time of rest and renewal. As people we are often amping up with everything this time of year. Sports, plays, activities, school... they are all at their most exciting in the fall. Then we look forward to the holiday season and the winter. So fall = birth, death, renewal, reflection, warm safety and cold air. 

When life gets complicated, I like to bring things back to a place of simplicity as much as I possibly can. Like Linus in the pumpkin patch, I try to carve out some alone time with my “pumpkins” of inspiration. You have to believe in something and surround yourself with the things that give you the courage to move forward, or the faith that the goodness is somewhere out there. This year has been a difficult one to remain inspired. It's hard to keep going creatively forward sometimes. Creativity is sort of the antithesis of consistency, but you can't have one without the other. So during the times when I feel my least consistent and motivated I like to surround myself with what is inspiring me. It grounds me, gives me ideas and keeps me moving forward. 

Two years ago I wrote about my very first Artistic Pumpkin Patch. I thought it was long overdue that I share what's inspiring me now.

Here are a few of the creative “pumpkins” that are inspiring me in one way or another and keeping me moving forward right now (in no particular order):

Artists who are inspiring me:

  • I am just a little obsessed with the artwork of Chad Wehrle right now:

  • I worked at my day job with Andrew Lipke for over a decade. He’s since branched out and is making his mark on the world as a composer, arranger, conductor and so much more. Here is a really interesting interview he recently gave. I really admire how he sticks to his own style without compromise.

  • My mom. When she’s faced with adversity, she still finds the time and space to make and give things to everyone around her.

  • My friends quietly inspire me by doing excellent things every minute of every day.

  • Jamie Livingston took a polaroid every day for almost 20 years up until the day that he died. The subjects are often simple, every day things, but looking at them in this context is a reminder of how important those little moments are.

  • ME! I spent some time pulling out all of my old artwork from elementary through high school and looking at it with my kids. It was so fun to remember what it was like to have access to so much creative time and supplies — and looking at all the amazing things that came from that period of my life really gave me a boost to keep creating in the now!

Authors who are inspiring me:

Music that’s inspiring me:

  • Peter Gabriel “I'm Amazing” - I listen to and rock out to this song on days when I am feeling insecure or less-than.

  • Ben Folds “Cologne” - some music just gets you right in the gut. This one does that to me. (Even the part about the astronaut).

  • Sia “Bird set free” - I love her story. I love her perseverance and the message behind this song is what I need so much of the time!

  • Tall Heights - These guys remind me of all the guys I once knew and loved who got beat up in high school because of their amazing different-ness and artistry. Their music is so beautiful, particular and moving. They just are who they are, which is why I love them so much. I’ve seen them play live a couple of times and they are amazingly moving!

Awesome podcasts:

  • Badass creatives - I love this podcast! It has taught me a ton about the business of art and I turn to it a lot when I need a boost and some inspiration.

  • Mortified: Share the Shame - this podcast inspired me to dig out all my old journals and do a read-through. It also helped me REALLY look at my younger, teenaged more tortured self with a sense of humor… and then put her to rest.

And a good article to read:

There are so many more, but these are in my patch at the moment. My inspirations are always evolving, so check back in a few months (or decades) to see what has changed.

In the mean time - what's in your pumpkin patch? Please share! I'd love to know. 

© 2018 Krysta Bernhardt. All Rights Reserved.