This weekend, my wife and I did one of the most heart breaking things we've ever had to do as parents.  We dropped our oldest daughter at a university, which is almost 6 hours away from where we live.  While we am extremely proud of her accomplishments, we feel very sad because we know our relationship with her has now changed.  Although my wife and I agree that this will be a wonderful opportunity for our daughter, our hearts are aching.

While I was in in the university town, I visited a book store and an art store, which are both places I find refuge in.  In the book store, I found a signed copy of, The World of William Joyce Scrapbook, which is now out of print.  William Joyce is also the author and illustrator of George Shrinks, Rollie Polie Olie, and many other books.  He's also a filmmaker, has done magazine covers for The New Yorker, and even takes charge of decorating his home during many holidays!  In this children's book, he describes through words, pictures and illustrations his creative process.  Family, historical events, movies, and even childhood toys have inspired him.  By combining elements from all these things he's been exposed to during his lifetime, he has been able to create an amazing world.  In my mind, that is creativity at work!

In the art store, I found a few Art-C materials on sale.  Art-C, a subsidiary of C-Thru Ruler Company, makes artist tools and materials that truly are inspirational for artists that like to experiment with artist trading cards (ATC), collage, and mixed media.  Even the vintage style packaging they come in is creative!  Ephemera kits, glitter, brushes, stains, gels, etcetera are available to explore, play and create with.  One of the items I bought, was the ephemera kit pictured here, called Natural & Black.

After my emotionally draining weekend, I found comfort in being able to have some time in my studio.  Just like William Joyce, I was influenced by my experiences.  I took the contents of the Art-C ephemera pack, a vial of black glitter, a pencil, gel medium, a purple stamp pad, and a black soft pastel to make an ATC.  (I even made my ATC foundation, by cutting the backing of the ephemera package into 3.5" x 2.5" rectangles.  The border peeking on the top is from the package.  Go green!)  As you can see, the piece definitely reflects my state of mind.  Not only did I choose dark shades, but the sketch I did is of my two daughters and the initial "A" is for both of their names.  The picture to the right is the result of my efforts.

So tell me, what inspired you during the last week?