I didn’t know this word until Anu suggested it for A.Word.A.Day, but once I looked it up I knew it would be great fun to illustrate! There’s something delightfully Shakespearean about the definition of “afflatus” in the old dictionary I used for the background text– any word that could evoke both “an exaltation of soul” & “belching” would appeal to the bard, don’t you think? Still, I hope his expression conveys that it’s divine inspiration he’s receiving here & not digestive vapors, however angelic. It was a technical challenge even to get a likeness since his face is barely the size of my fingernail!
Here’s a work-in-progress shot showing the scale of the painting. (If you’d like to see more of this sort of thing please follow me on Instagram.)
I love picking up odd things that catch my eye, gathering interesting information, looking at art and nature and people and books, filling my house and my brain with all sorts of miscellaneous stuff.
Medieval manuscripts, MAD Magazine, 19th century textbooks, puppets, pulp fiction, anything Alice, botanical specimens, Persian miniatures, Monty Python, scientific illustration, Flemish Renaissance paintings, old lab glass, Victorian scrap, rusty hardware and the art of the insane– when it comes to inspiration, I’m omnivorous!
But it’s after the collecting that the real fun begins. I love juxtaposing different elements and watching what happens when they get together. It’s like having a lively conversation with ideas & objects and images, full of surprises, twists and turns and curious coincidences.