Early mornings, I often walk through fresh markets: not to purchase food, but to receive a daily dose of Inspiration. As I walk through the Klong Toey Fresh Market in Bangkok, my keen sense of smell allows me to easily locate the seafood section: I use the word section loosely.
Visually, fresh markets are a paradise and it is for this reason I tolerate the environment: crowded, unpleasant odors, slippery floors, unsightly images of animal parts, and flying fish. It is best to dress as a merchant wearing a long dark raincoat and a pair of tall yellow rubber boots.
People watch me curiously as I walk up and down the dimly lit aisles observing the people, the product and the place. The People? Mostly locals pushing their way through the crowd. The Product? A hodgepodge of things edible, things wearable and just things: yes, for the home, garden and self. The Place? Changes with each step: however, as mentioned, it is invariably crowded, wet, dark and has a foul smell that permeates the air and latches onto one's hair, clothes and skin.
I continue to click away without caring if I am sprayed along with the fish. I am, however, startled when the first flying fish selects me for cushioning before crashing onto the bloody and wet ground. I am on an inspiration hunt. My focus is on collecting combinations of colours, motifs and textures.
Gathering information takes dexterity, time, patience and being comfortable with the unknown. What will I do with the many images? Will I incorporate any of them in a present project? Will I toss most into my massive inspiration tank? A tank that I do, indeed, reference frequently.
For certain, many images do not make the final cut and I delete immediately: POOF!
Patience: Collections evolve over time.
Wet and stinky, I leave the market and return to my hotel for a long hot shower.