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March 16, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-16

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8 - Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8 - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Marian Bantjes explores
the idea of inspiration

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Commercial artist
describes the cross-
pollination of ideas
By HEATHER POOLE
Daily Arts Writer
Inspiration can strike from
disparate sources. Cross-disci-
plinary artist
Marian Bantjes Marian
explores this *
curious aspect
of inspira- Thursday at
tion and how it 5:10 p.m.
can be derived Michigan Theater
from seemingly
unlikely places
that span across a vast number of
interests.
As part of the Penny W. Stamps
Distinguished Speakers Series,
Bantjes will be speaking this
Thursday about her past work
and experiences that led to her
status as an internationally rec-
ognized visual artist.
In her lecture, Bantjes attempts
to clarify the idea of inspiration,
emphasizing "the difference
between inspiration, influence
and reference material (and) ...
the importance of creative work
in society."
Bantjes credits much of the
inspiration behind her work as
a derived from various, seem-
ingly disparate sources. The main
focus and title of her lecture is a
concept she calls the "cross-polli-
nation of inspiration."

"It's how I get my ideas from
other disciplines," she added.
"It's about how creativity is this ...
universal thing that gets seeds of
inspiration from all sorts of disci-
plines."
As part of her explanation
of cross-pollination, Bantjes
emphasized the influence of other
subjects in her own work and
consequently how her work may
influence other professionals in
different fields of study.
"I get ideas all the time from all
sorts of different sources, so it's
very magical in the way that hap-
pens," Bantjes said. "The things
that inspire me are not always
visual.
"I'm inspired by the things that
I read, films that I see, music that
I hear and books that I read, so
in the same way ... my work may
inspire a scientist or a playwright
or a philosopher and that, in turn,
might be a seed that ... makes
something that inspires some-
body else in another discipline,"
she added.
Known for her highly ornate
vector art and eye-catching
graphic design, Bantjes's work
has been featured in magazines,
book covers, posters and adver-
tisements. Some of her most
famous work includes her designs
for GQ and New York Times
Magazine. She has also worked
for Saks Fifth Avenue in their ad
campaigns.
Currently, Bantjes is writing
a book called "I Wonder" to be
released this fall. She will briefly

cOURTESY OF MARIAN BANTJ
Marian Bantjes has had designs published in GQ and New York Times Magazine.

discuss her book at the lecture.
"('I Wonder') is about looking
at the world in a way of wonder, of
looking at the world visually and
getting a sort of joyous visual per-
spective on the things that we see
around us," Bantjes said.
In addition to her focus on
both her personal inspiration and
her theory of cross-pollination,
Bantjes hopes to impart a sense of
confidence to students interested
in pursuing a career in art.
"I hope (the students) will walk

away with the idea that doing
really good imaginative work
actually matters in the world,
that aesthetics aren't something
superfluous, that they're impor-
tant," she said.
"In a lot of the world, there is
... this idea that aesthetic work is
frivolous and I don't think it is at
all," she added. "So I want (the
students) to understand that and
feel emboldened and confident
that they can work visually, and
that it does makea difference."

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9

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