Artists: Why they do what they do

Ryan Sheridan

Where does artistic inspiration come from?

The Greeks believed it was a gift bestowed upon them by the gods. The Romantics thought it came from the madness of the mind. Freud argued it grew from the subconscious.

Andy Hendricks, senior VCD major and drummer for local indie rock band Annabel, said his inspiration is the challenge of piecing songs together.

“Being a graphic designer, I love combining ideas together and piecing them together like a puzzle,” he said. “I think there are no limits for songwriting.”

Hendricks also said he was inspired by the local music scene.

“There is a goldmine of great bands in the D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) music scene around the area that are all doing something new,” he said, “and it seems that everyone builds off one another in a way.”

Though some musicians despised their strict childhood piano lessons, Hendricks said his lessons at Woodsy’s Music, a musical instrument retailer in downtown Kent, helped him develop as a multi-instrumentalist.

“(My brother and I) both took a variety of lessons at Woodsy’s that included drums, vocals, guitar and piano,” he said.

The inspiration to express yourself on paper is something that can come from reading books, said Varley O’Connor, assistant professor of English and three-time fiction novelist.

As a former actress, O’Connor said she always enjoyed storytelling.

“I liked to live in a world of imagination,” she said.

O’Connor encouraged students to check out the Wick Poetry Center and Writing Club, which are both located in Satterfield Hall.

“It’s a great thing to meet real writers,” she said, adding it’s constructive to discuss and share your work with others.

The ability to see new visual concepts on the Web inspired John Proppe, a senior graphic design major, to enroll in the School of Art after switching from journalism.

“I kept an eye on for good examples of functional and accessible Web design,” he said.

In addition to the Web, Proppe said his professors also opened his eyes to what is possible in graphic design.

“I really learned (a lot) about motion graphics for television when it was taught by Jim Hurguy,” he said.

Wherever one’s artistic inspiration might lie, it must first begin with a passion and enthusiasm to express yourself. So learn the basics, share it with others and from there on out, it’s all up to you.

Contact features correspondent Ryan Sheridan at [email protected].