Friday, February 17, 2012

Visual Inspiration: On Art Resources

May I Offer You Some Visual Inspiration?

One question that people frequently ask me about The Storialist is where and how I find the images that help to inspire the poems. I wanted to share my resources and strategies. Looking at art and allowing it to feed my poems is a very natural process for me. I was already doing many of things I list below---now, there is just a bit more intention behind these actions.

Recon Missions (a.k.a. Going to Art Galleries and Exhibits A Lot)
Anytime I travel to a new city, I make sure to visit the museum (or known galleries) there. Here in Columbus, I go to openings and shows (including student shows). A few venues for seeing art I’ve loved, in no particular order: The Getty Museum, Obsolete, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, Rivet, OSU Urban Arts Space, The Wexner Center, The Hammer, The Museum of Jurassic Technology, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Museum of Photographic Arts, Yokohama Doll Museum.

Following Galleries and Artists Online
I let these galleries introduce me to artists I might like. I am especially interested in contemporary art, so I like to use galleries like record labels; when there is one I trust, I often like many artists that they feature. For example, a lot of the artists I love have shown work at Thinkspace Gallery. I am still on their mailing lists, and when they alert me to new shows, I have new artists to research.

Following artists online has been so helpful for me. I love noticing how artists structure their sites and arrange their work. I constantly bookmark artists’ sites that look intriguing (Right now, in my bookmark lists called “Artists to Check Out,” there are 64 links). When I find an artist whose work I respond to, I mine their “Links” section. This has really helped introduce me to new work, and to contextualize contemporary art a bit for me (for example, I know if a group of artists graduated from Art Center College together, or if artists identify with those working in similar styles).

Publications and Blogs
Ah, the vast universe of art blogs. When I first began linking to art on The Storialist (in 2009), I almost exclusively relied on these sites. Originally, I used sites like Booooooom!, Design for Mankind, Notcot, Artistaday, and Ffffound (although this one is trickier for finding the right credits for who made what).

I still visit those sites, but have also discovered others that really speak to me and my preferences. I am always adding to this list--right now, in my “Recurring Art Publications and Sites” bookmark, I have 37 links. Some of my favorites include Unless You Will, Lenscratch, Brown Paper Bag, NotPaper, 50 Watts, Art Lies, The Jealous Curator, and Squidface and the Meddler (there are many, many more--visit my new Art Sites and Publications links on the right side of the site, at the bottom, for more).

Asking and Learning From Other People
So. I’m always on the lookout for artists and resources to follow. If you are an art lover, how do you tend to learn about new work? Who should I know about?


  1. it's funny... I've never written a poem about art but you always inspire me to do one... i must one of these days.

    This post was awesome, as are you my dear.


    p.s. a low week for ''recalibration'... so ridiculously well thought-out and stated. You are very wise. xx

  2. Excellent post, Hannah. I've also found some wonderful artists through you. It's such a daily delight to learn who inspired you to write.

  3. this is so interesting Hannah, I did not know that you got your inspiration from art! You are so talented to be able to use that to write poems that probably also have personal connections.

    I don't follow new art in general. When I lived in DC I would just go to whatever was there every weekend so I was exposed to a lot. Here in LA I try to go to museums when new collections arrive and are announced in papers but I hate the trips.

    I suppose I see more through blog recommendations from people I like, like yourself.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  4. Hannah, what did you think of the Contemporary Jewish museum in SF. We keep meaning to visit.

    It would be fantastic if you could share links to your favorite artists here, maybe on a separate page? I've enjoyed linking through to the artists you feature with your poems.

  5. Bookmarked!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your sources. xooxox

  6. Also, am so glad you like 50 Watts!

  7. Thanks, everyone!

    Maureen, you are a continual source for inspiring art...your All-Art Links posts are fantastic.

    Susan, the CJM is WONDERFUL. They have a great exhibit right now about trees...

    Chrissy, you introduced me to 50 Watts! Thanks so much.

  8. Hi Hannah,

    Found your blog via:

    and was immediately drawn to the connection you make between writing and art. If you look on my website ( ), you'll see how writing also has a massive impact on the art I create.

    Thanks for listing all the links to the art sites and resources; I’m going check them out


  9. Thank you so much for including me on this list Hannah!


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