It was always believed that an artist may be inspired by different aspects of the period, society, or culture in which they live in. For example, the artwork of some artists reflects the inspiration of technology; other artists continue to work with more traditional style. However, the choice or treatment of a subject matter may also reflect the inspiration of an artist. One will also have many answers when trying to find out what inspires an artist. The audience will think of ideas, traditions, values or beliefs, and culture that artists are associated with. Some will think of political changes, significant development of new technologies when talking about inspiration of an artist. Further more, some believed that artists draw their inspiration from drugs and other drug related substances.
Isaac Chibua (an artist) defines inspiration as a drive from the environment. One will realize that the subject of many artworks represents and comments on the events, people, objects, ideas, and belief of time, culture and society in which an artist belongs. Issue of material and technology could be a drive to an artist’s inspiration. The kind of material Mr. Chibua is using in his artworks, such as metal plus paintings as well as canvas, gives us an idea that he is inspired by found objects. Another artist, Ray Gare says he is inspired by his surroundings. He experiments with material by exploring a wide range of ideas and themes.
According to Shepherd Ndudzo inspiration is defined as a drive of ideas. He is inspired by everything around him. Other audiences believe that inspiration in an artwork is often seen as something fixed, and primarily determined by the artists. Artists create an artwork with specific ideas about what they wanted to communicate. For example, they might be interested in describing a place such as Gaborone, in telling a story or in conveying a particular mood or feeling about their chosen area. A visiting artist, Brian Whelan, stays in the United Kingdom and while in Botswana will be exhibiting with other artists at Thapong Visual Arts Centre on the 29th May, 18:30hrs. He is also inspired by surroundings. One of his artworks, which will be in the exhibition, is about Gaborone. He depicts traffic at rush hour, buildings and some lost goats in the city.
It is acknowledged that knowledge, ideas and experiences that an individual artist brings to an artwork will influence the inspiration that an audience find from an artwork. It is also found that where and when artwork is made could be associated with inspiration of an artist. In addition, individual knowledge, experience and ideas will help one to interpret the inspiration. Everyone will find different meanings in an artwork; the same applies to finding what inspires the artist. Many factors would include the viewer’s culture, religion, social or political background and emotions to find an answer on what inspires the artist. Some believe that the main person to given an answer is an artists. The artist is aware of what they intend to achieve.