Quite some time ago, I found myself in the midst of a crippling artists’ block. It lasted for years. I couldn’t produce anything. Not a collage. Not a doodle. Nothing. Squat.
I considered giving up art altogether. And in a moment of utter frustration, I decided to take my dog, Murphy, for a walk and just let it all go. I absorbed the smells, I listened to the symphony of sounds, I felt the wet grass between my fingers. And then I noticed all the junk on the ground. First I got mad at the sheer quantity of garbage. Then I started picking it up. But after collecting bags and bags of garbage and recycling, I felt there had to be a better, more productive way to deal with all the waste. So, I started using it as art supplies. And I found that my quest to break out of my creative rut and my desire to make truly original marks could be found in all the pieces of trash I was collecting. Items that had been broken or worn down by the elements were capable of creating marks or texture that could never be purchased at a store. And I also found that I could be much more creative when I wasn’t worried about ruining materials that hadn’t cost a ton of money.
Sometimes we worry so much about finding the “perfect” tools to create art or we’re so precious about our supplies because we’re afraid of ruining them that we end up making nothing at all. But what if we used the “junk” on the ground that is already imperfect and broken? With a little imagination and inspiration from the world around us, anything can be an art supply and it can open doors to infinite possibilities.
With these ideas in mind, I developed a class called The Found Art Walk to help others break through their blocks. From there, I started my blog and began posting my ideas and creations on Instagram (@mkranthony). I created the inspiration kits and Found Object Creativity Kits in my Etsy store as a way to repurpose the objects I’ve found and also to share my ideas with others looking to get started, break through a rut or just try something new.
Murphy broke me out of my rut. He helped me rediscover my passion for art and creativity. He led me down a path of discovery, mindfulness and joy. He was my best friend, my muse, my rock. Murphy died unexpectedly in March of 2018 and I thought it was the end of my road. But he has found ways to reach out to me through nature and found objects to let me know he’s still there, to encourage me to keep going, to inspire me to keep creating. Everything I do is dedicated to him. And it is with his passion and enthusiasm that I share my ideas with the world and encourage others to slow down, pay attention and absorb all the inspiration that is all around us.
Join me. Let’s follow in Murphy’s footsteps and let’s go take a walk…