What takes you to new places?

I’m participating in Fun-a-Day 2014, a daily art challenge through the month of January, committed to do a daily post here detailing some Big Art Idea or project that looms somewhere out in my future.

An advisor asked me a series of rhetorical questions that I am taking quite literally. Her next question was:

What takes you to new places?

Hmm, this one is harder… and easier. Harder to pin down maybe, but easier because like the question about what inspires me, there are a bunch of things that take me to new places. There may even be some overlap with the inspiration list.

  1. Amazing artists. I look at interesting artists that hit me just right, and my brain sizzles and zings. Just for instance, look at this work by Saad Quareshhi full of tiny houses and trees and minarets and guard towers. How can this not take you to other places?
Other Crescents, Other Moons by Saad Qureshi

Other Crescents, Other Moons by Saad Qureshi www.saadqureshi.com

  1. Travel. Literally, of course, but also figuratively. Every time I leave my own comfortable place here along the Western shores and meet new people, thinking new thoughts and doing new things, I’m inspired. Hanging out in Boston years ago with cool art folk inspired me to create a long-term local art documentation project. And just the journey often spins my thoughts in new directions. Road trips always get me going. I should make a habit of saying an emphatic Yes! to anyone who offers any excuse to travel somewhere (especially on their dime).
  2. blackrockcountryclubFiction. Ever since I was a kid, I always have a paperback stuck in a pocket. I read slow like a 3rd grader, but steadily and consistently. My life book list is long long long. And ever since I was a kid, books have taken me to other places. I’m pretty sure I learned more truths about life in fiction than I have from people in my real life. Damn, I love me some books.
  3. Hanging out with creative playful people. I was thinking again about this arts festival out in the desert, and how I’ve been 14 times or something over the last 20 years. And how sometimes it inspires me a little bit, and sometimes it rocks my socks the hell off. Say what you want about it, I know, but really can you think of any other context in which you get a few thousand playful adults and kids together and give them a license to make art and play?
  4. Being in the wilds. I forget and am reminded every time I wake up in the woods with the sky and trees above and the birds twittering: Oh yeah, the natures. I like it.
  5. Music. Certain music transports me to a magic other place, music that feels like the turning of the wheels of the universe. Take a listen to this.
Gamelan Pacifica – Rain from Trance Gong
  1. Love. Love always kicks my ass. So many wonderful discoveries about others, about myself.

I feel like there is much more, but in the interests of brevity, I’ll cap it at an auspicious seven.

How about you? What transports you and takes you out of your everyday context and leaves you never the same again?

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