Monet and Me: A Story of an Inspiration

Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen

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In this paper, I present a practice-led project that is at the crossroads of art, design and research. The aim is to explore the role of inspiration sources in the creative textile design process. This case, Monet and me, is one of the six projects that form the artistic practice of my doctoral studies. Each project is a separate case study that consists of selected inspiration sources in relation to my own practice. I choose well-known artists as my sources of inspiration, as their visual impact is more unambiguous to evaluate than, for example, inspiration from music or literature. As a result of this case study, I have produced hand-tufted rugs, woven jacquards and other textile works that are presented in the form of an exhibition.
Inspiration sources shape the environment in which the artistic process happens. They take part and act as fuel for the process. They operate at the levels of thinking and feeling; the overall process of artistic practice is not about seeing or being visual. Sources of inspiration have various roles, which include bringing changeable features to the process, presenting the outside world and embodying the process-to-be for the artist.
Every practitioner faces moments when the work is not advancing well and enthusiasm is lost. During these moments, merely the thought of my sources of inspiration gave me the necessary desire to go on with my work. I felt no loneliness, but instead a sense of belonging between me and my sources of inspiration. I had managed to build an entire imaginary universe of the bits and pieces that I had come across during my research project, and this supported the empty moments of the process of creation. This, then, is the most powerful discovery: visiting Monet’s garden gave me a site-specific memory and an imaginary home for my inspiration process. This vision was transformed further during my process while following my needs and ideals. For me, Monet’s garden in Giverny represented a place of eternal summer just like it was when I last visited it and as it was in my photographs.

I need to feel deeply attached to my sources of inspiration at the beginning of my creative process to be able to forget about them later when the process develops. The ‘happening’ of the creative process takes place first in the imagination, and only later it is directly guided by the making and the materials. I approach the process of making in a very concrete manner and plan the multiple phases carefully. This demanding thinking process is constantly enlightened by the company of my sources of inspiration. Deleuze noted that thinking is creating, and for me thinking is generated from the enlightened encounter with sources of inspiration. For me, inspiration is everything.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Art of Research VI Сonference
Subtitle of host publicationCatalyses, Interventions, Transformations
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventArt of Research Сonference: Catalyses, Interventions, Transformations - Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 29 Nov 201730 Nov 2017
Conference number: 6
http://the art of research 2017


ConferenceArt of Research Сonference
Internet address


  • Practice-led research
  • sources of inspiration
  • creative process
  • textile design
  • textile art


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