Designers don't design in a vacuum. We always design based on a precedent, sometimes from personal experiences, sometimes from observations from the world around us. But there's always something behind a design.
As I've said in many places on my website, I get a lot of my inspiration from architecture, mathematics, and graphic design. In these disciplines and others like them, you get the creativity and spontaneity of art, and the exactness and precision of math. Even within the constraints of rules, beautiful art can come out. And those rules can always be broken to make something unexpected. In my work, I try to skirt the line between art and design, allowing myself to experiment within certain constraints.
Beyond those general disciplines, I also get inspiration from other makers, artists, and designers. It's a non-exhaustive list, and much of my inspiration comes from the most random places and Pinterest posts. But these four artists are my main inspirations for building and expanding Generative Crochet and experimenting in my work.
Windy Chien - In addition to the minimalist aesthetic, I truly love Windy Chien's idea of taking something so mundane as knots and making them into a beautiful, well-composed, visually pleasing piece. As a child, I learned my knots and even made a knot board when I was a kid, but it was nowhere near as beautiful as what Chien designs. Her work inspires me to see the beauty and potential in even the most mundane of objects.
Mariana Baertl - When I first saw Mariana Baertl's work on Instagram under Living Fibers, I was amazed. Her skills in embroidery and composition and color are unmatched in my mind. Every piece she creates has a story with emotion, texture, and joy baked into it. She inspires me to keep experimenting. To combine different materials, play with color, and use yarn in an unconventional way. Even though I love working in geometric and mathematical shapes, who says weaving and fiber art need to be in straight lines? They naturally move like waves and drape in organic shapes, making nothing recognizable, but making something meaningful.
Susanna Bauer - I found Susanna Bauer fairly recently and I remember being completely amazed at how she uses crochet in such an unconventional way. Who would have thought to crochet on leaves? And her work is so intricate and well-crafted as well. Her work brings me so much delight and encourages me to think outside the box.
Saskia Freeke - I use Processing a lot for my personal coding projects as well as for past research projects. As a designer/engineer, I love the fact that there's a visual coding tool out there. I came across Freeke's work on Open Processing and fell in love immediately, following her on Open Processing, Tumblr, and Instagram. I loved the bold graphics and how she plays with color and animation in her Processing sketches. Her work is so engaging, and it encourages me to find new ways to relate colors to each other and use crochet as a graphic design tool.
I'll also share my Pinterest boards relating to things that inspire me the most.
Design (contains a mix of things)
Maybe you found something in this list to inspire you or that can inspire someone else. Use them to play, experiment, and make.