The question… That question… I never really know how to answer.
“What inspires or influences your work?”
There is no simple answer…
I can sum it up in a tidy little sentence that I like to use in my bio…
‘I am really fascinated with emotional responses to situations and that is always at the core of what inspires me to create.’
But in actuality, while it is very true and defines the majority of my artwork and writing and especially my photography. It’s so much more complex than that and I can barely trace it in chronological order to give you an idea of where it all comes from. Little realisations pop up along on the way as you mill over that question…
Natalia Dumont started with a drawing… a simple sketch years ago (must’ve been beginning of 2015 because I specifically remember the drawing pad and tools being a gift in March – funny the things you remember…) and even traipsing through years of Facebook photos to find it for you, I couldn’t. It was a simple black and white pen drawing. All the detail was in the eyes. There was a Phoenix in an obviously female eye and I never thought about that drawing again until I tried to write this very post.
It could be where the seed was planted. It could even be the dream I’ve always had of repurposing an old warehouse into nightclubs, that perfect studio and owning my very own pool hall. Too many teenage years spent playing pool? I once worked with a guy I called nice-eye. This could have inspired Gabe’s nickname, but his were nothing like I described Gabe’s. Jazz reminds me somewhat of Xhex in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J R Ward… A firm favourite I read again and again I might add….
See how many options there are to choose from? If you analyse anything enough, you will find those answers you’re looking for but that takes the joy out of creating for me.
I had no intentions for Natalia, Gabriel, Zaphyre or Jazz. They literally grew as I sat up late at night when I couldn’t sleep.
I had no intention of finishing Fire, or even starting Ice. I didn’t know whether Ice was going to be the end or lead to another book. (Yes… it has.)
At the time I started to write, it was because I had no room to paint… I’d not long left uni where I had my very own studio space (I pretty much lived in it)
I would run out of room in my sketchbook and the giant bed I used to curl up on to draw… and I was agitated, and miserable and getting lost in my own head, thoughts and emotions…
At that point, a friend of mine who also writes inspired me to do so when he asked me to help edit his novel. I gave it a try, because I cannot stand not creating… its who I am and this is where it has brought me.
Developing characters, in the late night hour with music blaring (through headphones of course!) and no distractions.
As my blog continues, I will mostly share things about my characters, the drawings that inspire scenes and the scenes that inspire drawings. I have become quite attached to the iPad Pro and Procreate… I can quickly get those ideas out and perfect them as and when I get 5 minutes to myself or am suddenly hit with inspiration out of the blue.
If you’re interested in my art, it’s here at T. A. Douglas . There’s a little bit of everything there and I hope you like what you see.
There is a page with links to my books in the menu if I have peaked your interest.
Thanks for stopping by and reading!