I haven't written in a while because I have been stuck. I've been drawing a lot, even improving. Definitely, learning. But I have been in a state of discomfort with my artwork and battling this question: How do I make images that don't add to the already over saturated market of white upper middle class representation, without appropriating cultures that are not my own?
I've been wanting to draw alternative images to parenting than the mainstream white males and females in jeans and polos (google image search parenting and you will see what I mean). I have witnessed other beautiful images that are just as real and powerful. However, creating these types of images from my imagination seems dangerously close to cultural appropriation. So for the time being, as I struggle to find an answer to my question, I have been focusing on documenting scenes that surround me.
This same problem has also manifested itself in the form of artistic inspiration. How do I learn from work that inspires me without having my work look like that work?
My boyfriend recently attended a workshop facilitated by a wise saxophonist. At the workshop, the saxophonist mentioned that we should tackle inspiration from the side. By this he meant that we shouldn't play (draw) the specific idea that inspired us, but to play off of that idea. That is a very hard thing to do that I am still trying to learn!