Your friends should always be people that you admire. I'm lucky enough that my friends are not only people that I admire, but are inspiring as well. Most recently,my good friend Linda Wingerter awed us with her new passion of fire spinning.
Linda has always been a great source inspiration for me. Everything she does, everything she creates is done with the care, devotion and passion. Just from observing her, I've been shamed over and over again, realizing the difference between painting a picture and creating art. Art demands dedication, emotion and concentration. Art aspires to greatness, not for ego or money, but because it yearns to fulfill its potential and not waste the gifts bestowed on it. Linda's firespinning, as incredible and as amazing as it is, is just another example of how Linda creates art.
In the past, when I used to do educational/editorial work, I had a tendancy to to "phone it in." The only desire felt while I made those pieces was the desire to paint them as soon as possible and get paid. I would be embarassed to put my name on the paintings I created. Slowly, I realized my folly and began to concentrate solely on work that I loved. Linda is my constant reminder that I didn't get into illustration to make money, I got into it to make art.
And, Linda has abs of steel. She also inspires me to go to the gym.