Lately I feel like I’ve been in a creative rut. I’ve continued to write, paint and I still take my camera almost everywhere I go but I feel the need to be inspired again. This got me thinking about what motivated me years ago to first pursue being an artist. 

Here are my top 5 inspirations: 

1. Music: Music has the power to change my mood, be a catalyst for change in my life and inspire me in many ways. I have a very eclectic library of music at home, but no matter where I’m at or how I’m feeling, the blues seems to be the “right” music. I agree with Van Morrison’s statement that “Hearing the blues changed my life.” 

Here’s one of my favorites: 

2. Travel/exploring different cultures: My first trip outside of the US was to Northern Ireland in the summer of 2002. I arrived with many expectations and ideas about what my time there would look like. The beauty of this country is incredible. Something was fueled in me over those 3 weeks and I remember coming back home with the desire to share my art with others. Looking forward, I can’t wait to be back in Prague, creating art among some very talented artists in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! There is a story in every photograph… 

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

3. My mother, Susan.  My mother was a creative being. She had an ear for good music, wrote poetry, always carried her camera with her and could come up with unique recipes for the family meals. She encouraged each of her children to express their creativity. Many times while I am out photographing I can’t help but think how proud she would be of my desire to express myself through art. 

Susan Jane Maddox

 4. Other artists: I can remember the first time I attended the Houston Ballet, the Museum of Modern Art and CATS in New York, the deYoung in San Francisco and countless tiny galleries and art studios around the world that have inspired me. Artists are everywhere. In Europe it seems that you can find art hidden in places you never would have imagined. And then others choose to make bold statements in populated areas of the city like this: 

Prague graffiti downtown

5. trees: There is something about trees of all kinds that motivate me to photograph, paint, write, etc. Here are two of my favorites from the past few years: 


One thought on “inspiration

  1. tracy says:

    Thanks for sharing Kara! I can’t believe how much you resemble your mom. I know I’ve seen that picture before, but wow. :)

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