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Making Art

Look Up: Art Inspiration Is Everywhere

Chicago's weather has taken a drastic turn for the chilly. (It was a system-shocking 15 degrees when I took the dog out the other morning.) And such wintry weather really divides the masses into two schools of thought — first, the bury-your-head-in-a-scarf-and-hibernate-for-the-next-four-months city dwellers; and then the much smaller batch of make-the-best-of-it-while-attempting-to-venture-outside-occasionally believers.

I fall firmly into the latter camp, looking for ways to embrace winter and seeking distractions from the cold, though always while majorly bundled up.

Take, for instance, the beautiful gem, the Chicago Cultural Center, located only a block from my office building. The exhibits inside are constantly changing and, the best part, it's always free. So, no excuses.

I moseyed on in the other afternoon for a brief respite from my day job and an inspiration boost. The building itself immediately transports you somewhere far from the wind tunnel of Michigan Avenue with it's glittering tiles and stunning dome. 


Photo Credit: Heather Linder

What grabbed my attention most during this particular visit was the type. Everywhere I looked, beautiful type— from the lovely quotes formed with tiles and elevated above visitors to the artistic type in the installments, particularly that of the Paint Paste Sticker: Chicago Street Art exhibit.

Street art Oil quote train type

For artists and creatives, it can be easy to feel too busy to find time for your artwork during this season. Even if it's just a quick sketch or absently doodling some lettering on the cocktail napkins at your company holiday party, don't forget to stretch your artistic muscles. Inspiration is everywhere if we can manage to look up from our snow melt-covered boots (or our own thoughts, for you warm weather inhabitants) and go find it. 

What's gets you through the cold, dreary days? How are you planning to stay motivated once the holiday cheer dissipates?   

For more inspiration for adding type and lettering to your artwork, take a look at these samples from The Art of Calligraphy & Lettering.

lettering type samples

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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