Discover 7 Contemporary Creatives and their Inspirations

Meet the creative minds partnering with Google Arts & Culture on a journey into the archives

By Google Arts & Culture


As part of a series introducing today's strongest and most innovative voices, Google Arts & Culture asked makers to respond to online collections.

Scroll on to meet the creators, see their responses to the digital material available on Google Arts & Culture, and, in their own words, discover where influencers find their inspiration.

Edinburgh by Charlotte Ager

Charlotte Ager

"I am an Illustrator based in London who works on a real variety of projects. I love capturing place and bringing a sense of narrative to spaces."

"I wanted to use this brief to explore some of the locations on the Heritage on the Edge project on Google Arts and Culture because I found the way they were presented very moving. We often just see photos of them as tourist attractions in all their glory but don't comprehend the threat they face."

Rapa Nui by Charlotte Ager

"These places hold such value and power for people and yet are extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change than humans ourselves have failed to tackle."

Clouds Above a Line of Moai in Rapa Nui (2019-01) by CyArkCyArk

"I personally feel like artwork can help us communicate in a really important way in our contemporary lives. It can catch our attention in our days which are so full of information and demands, presenting important issues with emotion and care."

Cultural Makers - Vincent Bal 1

Vincent Bal

"I’m a Belgian filmmaker and shadowologist. That means I make images with the shadows of everyday objects."

"Usually when I make a new image, I let chance guide me and I see what shows up in the shadows."

Cultural Makers - Vincent Bal 2

"The works I chose are all works by artists I love. Vermeer is the master of light. I love his work; so delicate! It was a very humbling experience to respond to these greats."

Cultural Makers - Nina Cosford 3

Nina Cosford

"I'm a freelance illustrator based in the southeast of England. My work typically centres around female narratives and telling both everyday and lesser-known stories in an accessible, relatable or humorous way."

"In my work for GA&C, I was particularly inspired by a Zaha Hadid quotation. I think it's a timeless message that applies to almost all areas of life and especially within the creative industries."

Cultural Makers - Nina Cosford 1

"The second piece I made was in response to the "female frontier of space" - a selection of trailblazing women who broke down barriers within the realm of space exploration."

"Now, more than ever, people are turning to art for everything - comfort, humour, inspiration and entertainment. Art is one of the most accessible and universal mediums which also has the power to change or challenge the way we think and feel."

Cultural Makers - Nina Cosford 2

"During the current pandemic and the ongoing political climate, art reminds us of what it is to be human."

Cultural Makers - Art History Fashion 2

Art History Fashion

"I am a Product Designer in the tech industry with a background in art history. I started my Instagram project as a continuation of my interest in using technology to make art history more relatable. Art history isn’t only learned through lectures and textbooks!"

"I wanted to showcase a range of how pronounced art history influence can be in fashion. A very striking homage was John Paul Gaultier's Frida Kahlo collection."

Cultural Makers - Art History Fashion 1

“A more subtle influence is found in the Abstract Expressionism-inspired fashion recalling the works of Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell. I felt like it was important to note the techniques that Frankenthaler and Mitchell pioneered could be found on many fashion pieces today.”

"As Robert Motherwell put it: "Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it." Art is an integral, very human means of expression."

Cultural Makers - Women of History 1

Women of History

"I’m Dena Sutphin, the producer of @Women_ofhistory on Instagram and a PhD student in history. I primarily work on the modern Middle East, but my Instagram account aims to shine a spotlight on the lives and experiences of women throughout world history."

Cultural Makers - Women of History Frida

"Working with Google Arts & Culture as a Cultural Maker allowed me to continue in my account’s mission of sharing women’s history through beautiful imagery and thorough research. Two posts in particular, one on Frida Kahlo and one on Queen Sirikit of Thailand, allowed me to take advantage of the museum resources."

Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949-11) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

"In crafting posts that I thought would appeal to my readers, I chose exciting topics like Eleanor Roosevelt’s time as United States delegate to the United Nations. This story allowed me to highlight Eleanor’s active role in United States politics and humanitarianism, despite often being remembered only for her role as First Lady."

Daytime Ensemble (1960/1960) by Pierre BalmainQueen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

"Similarly, the visually stunning wardrobe of Queen Sirikit of Thailand helped me tell the story of a Thai queen involved in crafting a modern Thai identity that blended tradition with modernity."

By the sweat of my brow, I try to be mistaken as Sahib by Gaganendranath TagoreVictoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Brown History

"My name is Ahsun and I own a popular Instagram account called @BrownHistory which explores South Asian history, culture and arts. I grew up in Canada and wanted to learn more about my roots so I decided to create this account as an excuse to research and learn more about the history of my origins. It's almost like I am having a conversation with myself."

"I usually try to find content that either surprises people or makes them move or feel something, such as these works by Gaganendranath Tagore, a painter and a satirical cartoonist."

Brahmin of Kaliyuga (Caricature) (1917) by Gaganendranath TagoreVictoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

"He was openly anticolonial and his caricatures satirized Bengali "babus" and their "bibis" which were derogatory terms used for natives trying to be Westernized. Tagore also displayed the hypocrisy and corruption of the upper class at the time."

"Social Media is everything at the moment. I think it's our number one source for news, culture, and what is cool and isn't. Through art, culture, and social media, I want to make something that takes people in visually and, when they read the caption, they feel their curiosity rewarded."

Cultural Makers - Lucy Litman 1

Lucy Litman

"I'm Lucy! I'm originally from Minnesota, but have been in the Bay Area the past few years. I call myself an all-purpose creative - I do a little bit of everything, but mainly just try and have fun and be honest in the work that I do."

Cultural Makers - Lucy Litman 2

"A lot of my work centers around mental health, so for the GA&C brief I wanted to select quotes and images that related to using art as a way to express yourself and share parts of yourself."

Perfectly Clear (Ganzfeld) (1991) by James TurrellMASS MoCA

"I've always loved space, and the idea of looking up to the sky and feeling small, so I love James Turrell. I love how he juxtaposes his work with vivid colors, natural light/settings and is able to integrate a unique human experience into all of them."

Perfectly Clear (Ganzfeld) (1994) by James TurrellMASS MoCA

"I think social media allows for art to be seen, viewed, and appreciated by more people. For example - Turrell's work is located all around the world in places I'll likely not be able to visit, but on social media, i'm able to find photos and videos that bring those places right to me."

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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