Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finding Inspiration

Ephemera is everywhere.  So it would stand to reason that I would find inspiration for my art and these blog posts everywhere too, right?

Right - most of the time.  I have taken a cue from Keri Smith, author and life-observer extraordinaire, about "how to be an explorer of the world".  As I talked about in another post, I've cast my eyes downward in search of "lost" ephemera.  I have amazing friends who, selflessly and most generously, just give me amazing items.  I am constantly surrounded by the everyday stuff of life.

But because I am an ephemera addict, I always want more.  Not more stuff, necessarily (although, who am I kidding?  I never pass up an opportunity for more stuff!), but more ideas.  More finds. More inspiration.  Where to turn?

Here's a great place - W5RAn

I've been following W5RAn since it was about 3 weeks old, back in November/December of 2009.  I can't remember anymore who found who - if I found D'Ette Cole, head editor of the site, or if she found me via Flickr (more amazing inspiration can be found there too, by the way).  However it went, I was hooked on this site from the beginning. Imagine my surprise and honor when D'Ette put her trust in me and crowned me a contributing editor this week. :D

So what IS W5RAn?  First off, the meaning.  I love how D'Ette picked the name - it was her maternal grandfather's callsign for his ham radio operation (that's his calling card in the image above; more on ham radio calling cards in a future post).  D'Ette loved his sense of adventure and decided to create a place for visual exploration, accessible to everyone.  It's a daily digest of what makes our world fascinating - and that includes LOTS of ephemera (just more proof that kindred spririts find each other!).

The site is separated into seven categories, explained by D'Ette this way:

The best part?  Anyone can contribute anything.  It's all about the sharing.  D'Ette asked me originally if she could share my artwork, which flattered me to no end.  I've been an ongoing contributor that way since late 2009.  I have made friends with like-minded ephemeraologists directly through W5RAn, and that's what it's about - THAT'S where inspiration is born.  It's also another vessel where we can keep vintage ephemera alive and kicking.

So how about it, readers?  I know so many of you are ephemerologists, explorers, vintage addicts, artists and curators in your own right.  Hop aboard the W5RAn train!  You too can be a contributor and keep ephemera fresh.  It's a great way of looking at the world and finding inspiration in the everyday stuff of life.  Because that's what it's all about, people - the little things.

Here are a couple of my pieces that have been featured on W5RAn (thanks D'Ette!):


  1. Wow so cool Mel - I will "hop" over - thanks for sharing. J

  2. Thanks so much, Jewels! It's a very cool site, no? :D