Grist for the mill

In Inspiration
Scroll this

Every so often I like to take a break from my usual photography-forward blog posts to share a few things that are nourishing my creative spirit as a whole.  I am a big believer in pulling inspiration from music, museums, books, television, blogs, podcasts, and documentaries. Bringing new inspiration into my consciousness is every bit as important to my creative process as eating nourishing food is for my body. I love the way it nudges me in new directions and reminds me that creating art is not always a nose-to-the-grindstone experience.  It can be fun and playful too. So, here are the top five things that are currently feeding my creative soul.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Visually stunning, impeccably acted, hilarious and sharp. This series is a must-see. I binge-watched both seasons in the matter of a week, and now I am a shell of a woman who can no longer get her fix. I may have to start from the beginning and watch all eighteen episodes over again.  If you watch it, press pause now and again. Each scene is exquisitely composed and could stand on its own as a fine art photograph.

Tashi and the Monk

I found this documentary completely by accident and had no idea what I was stumbling upon.  Tashi and the Monk is the true story of a school community for unwanted children located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Former Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok’s founded the school to adopt orphaned and unwanted children and raise them as a family in a school called The Garden of Love and Compassion. The story broke me wide open. The documentary is beautifully captured and paced and has won numerous awards since it’s debut in 2014.  

A Single Frame

Another incredible documentary, A Single Frame, is the story of an American businessman who encounters a photograph of a refugee boy taken by war photographer Alexandra Boulat during the war in Kosovo.  He sets out to find the boy in post-war Balkans. It is a powerful and beautiful documentary that solidifies the power of a single photograph. I loved this film and will watch it again and again.  

A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women!)

What can I say? I am a huge fan of Danielle Krysa, the writer and artist behind the blog The Jealous Curator.  She began her blog in 2009 as a way to channel the envy she felt every time she looked at the work of other artists. Rather than hide in a corner, she created a platform to highlight work she admired. She is a champion of contemporary artists from all over the world, a writer of fabulous books, and a brilliant collage artist in her own right.  Her latest book is especially inspiring to me as it is devoted entirely to female artists. I think you will love it too.

And finally, Oprah’s interview with writer Steven Pressfield on Super Soul Conversations. I loved every word but was especially moved by his approach to resistance.  It was an Ah-ha moment for me.

Thank you for indulging me as I share a few of my favorite things.  I hope there is something on the list that nourishes your creative spirit.

xoxo  deb


  1. Oooh! I love documentaries and will check those two out. And we just got the art book at my library and it’s fabulous. Xo

    • Lucy,
      I hope you enjoy the documentaries. Report back and let me know! And I’m thrilled you like the book too. It’s pretty great.
      xoxo Deb

  2. Deb, Thank you so much for this curated collection of inspiration and encouragement. Even when I am doing “nothing” with my photography, not picking up the camera or pressing the shutter, I am doing something vital for my art . . . soaking in the sensory experiences that build my creativity in ways I do not fully understand. This list is just what I needed.

    • Donna,
      You express it so eloquently! Any creative exposure is good for us, and I think it’s especially nice to have non-photography related inspiration so we can let our guard down and really take it in. I hope you enjoy a few things on the list.
      xoxo Deb

  3. “Now with Women!” That’s hilarious. Thanks for this list, Deb. Can’t wait to watch those documentaries. They’re both on Amazon Prime! Yippee!

  4. Deb, I can always count on you to widen my world and my creativity. Thank you for this amazing list.

    • Awwww, Cathy. That makes me so happy. I hope you enjoy a few of the suggestions. xoxo Deb

Comments are closed.