American sculptress, Louise Nevelson, once said, "I always wanted to show the world that art is everywhere, except that it has to pass through a creative mind." (http://www.louisenevelsonfoundation.org/). I find that a wonderful optic for an artist to embrace, because it gives one carte blanche to seize upon any and everything as grist for the mill in creative terms. It means that ideally, one's antennae are up and working all the time, because you never know when you will find a new idea that leads to doing something creative.
Not only does one needs to be attentive to the world around one, but also, I personally find, there needs to be time to be quiet and not particularly active in thinking about creating art. It is at almost meditative times- when ironing, walking, lying half-asleep at night, etc. - that I find ideas comes floating into my head, or connections between things I have seen or heard are made that can lead to something creative. More and more, I understand that art-making, for me, seems to be a function of being comfortable in one's skin and head, so as to speak, when trust exists in what might float up and happen, leading to ideas and new dialogues. You never know what will surface, but you just need to know that indeed there is art potentially everywhere to be welcomed. It can be the most humble of things or the most amazing of sights. Frequently, I will pick up something on a walk and get a look of surprise from my husband. But later, the resultant art will be greeted with a nod of understanding!
(Sapelo Lichen silverpoint, white gouache highlights on tinted ground)
When you think of what Louise Nevelson picked up by way of discarded "rubbish" and then turned into amazing creations, it gives every artist licence to use any and every resource as a bridge to creation. Not only creation, in fact, but the new interpretation and/or version of whatever has been created serve potentially as a source of fresh dialogue and understanding between people around the world, transcending borders and cultures. Art is everywhere and its presence allows more art to flourish in the future.