Altoid Inspiration Tin

In thinking about what inspired my art, I found it difficult not to write-up an extremely long list. I try not to limit myself to one style or aesthetic because I like several. For a while I couldn’t figure out how I was going to fit everything I liked into a small Altoids tin. As I was making a list of inspirations like nature, street art, and basketball, I realized I was missing my own experiences in life. This led me to an even bigger dilemma of how do I fit my own life and the things I like into a 2.5 x 3.75 x .75 tin. I then scrapped the idea of filling the tin up because I knew I would run out of room and miss inspirations important to my art and identity.

I took a step back and tried to group my inspirations into big categories. It was then that I decided to cut a hole through the bottom of the tin because I am inspired by what I see in the world around me. My art is a reflection of my experiences.

Next I bought two mirrored sheets, one stiff and one flexible. At first I put the stiff mirror in the top of the tin so I was opening it up to a perfect reflection of myself. Something didn’t feel right about this. I wasn’t inspired by a regular mirror image of my face. I then switched the stiff mirror for a flexible one that distorted the reflection of face giving me multiple faces and disproportionate features. This felt more genuine because I have a tainted perception of myself. I don’t view myself as picture perfect or beautiful and I think that shows in my art. I like strange better than realistic.

Sometimes my art is inspired by just what I see, and sometimes just myself. When both sides of the tin are showing it represents when I compare the perception of myself to the world around me. I can’t always make art inspired by this because what I see is so clear and my perception of myself is so distorted. It takes a lot of mental energy to compare the two sides. My art is best when I find the balance of looking through all three view points at the right times.

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