Golden Nuggets

Photo Inspiration Event

Through this event, members of the Hippo community sent in photos and images, which were then exchanged with others to provide inspiration for new art! Check out some of the submissions below.

Untitled - Michelle Barsukov

I look and I hear
And as I do
The world changes.
The announcement rings on this cold, winter day
Where time is frozen
Where I stand
Where there is no "where", just the fading remains of a town I used to know.
 
But suddenly, there's 
color.
And noise
And life and sensation and...
And I know what to do.
I raise my horn and
I, too, make a sound.

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Image via Kassandra Haakman 

Sunflower Love - Lane Fischer

Some say love is like the rose. 
(Yes, I'm talking to you Bette Midler)
Whose seed is planted firmly in the fall,
To grow by the sun's love in the spring.
 
I think roses are silly and impractical.
If love were like the rose
It would appear glorious from afar,
But would prick you when you hold it.
 
I think love should be like the Sunflower,
Who holds its gaze with the thing they love most,
Who bends and compromises for their beloved,
Yet stays firmly planted in themselves.
 
Some say love is like the rose.
I think roses are silly and impractical.
I know love should be like the sunflower.

Image by Michelle Barsukov

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Image by Kassandra Haakman 

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Untitled - Claire Fang

I had the strangest dream this morning. 
Well, I’m not really sure if it was a dream. It was more of a hallucination, you know; when you don’t sleep for a long while you start to see things. Back in high school, I only got four hours of sleep a night, and in class I’d see knights clad in black armor upon white horses passing through the walls, or I’d hear a lute playing some half-familiar tune behind the drone of the teacher’s lecture, or I’d think for a moment I was eating some beautiful chocolate cake to find I was holding only my brown notebook all along. These hallucinations seem to be fully integrated in reality, and you believe in them wholeheartedly no matter how out-of-place they really are, until the seconds pass and you see the world as it really is again. 
Now this...hallucination, it took up the whole world, you see, which makes it different. A waking dream -- I was awake for this, I need you to know that. Sober, too. There was...no reason for me to see this. No physical reason, anyways: no lack of sleep, no drugs or drink, no head injury or chemical imbalance in the brain. That’s why I’m coming to you. I need you to explain this to me. 
I was walking down the road to the Sterling Library; I’m doing research on the daily habits of Norwegian nuns 

 in the 1300s, if you’re interested. I don’t know if you went outside today, but it was raining steadily this morning. The sky was white with clouds, and I had my umbrella up and my rainproof boots on. Everything was normal -- the leaves on the trees glistened dark green with rainwater, a few buses and cars trickled through the streets, and puddles grew at the sides of the sidewalks. 
I’m sorry it’s taking me a while to get to the point. I have to let you know; I’m not insane. I know what reality is like. Every experience I’ve had throughout my life has been “normal” and perfectly scientific, except for this: 
Suddenly, without warning, the world just turned blurry, like a photo behind misted glass. Everything was caught in motion, elongated and distorted; the glare of headlights through the fog shone as large as hubcaps, the ripples in the puddles froze into each other. 
I couldn’t move; my body was just as paralyzed as the scene I saw in front of me. Nothing moved, except for this shadowy figure, all the way down the sidewalk. From a distance, you could mistake them for a student with a backpack. They (I could not for the life of me tell you their gender) seemed to shimmer, almost, or undulate. Slowly, nearly imperceptibly, they came closer to me, and the more I saw the less I understood. They didn’t walk...it was more like...they just got larger the way things that are close to you look “large.” 
Eventually, I was only a foot away from this mysterious entity, a solid human-ish 3D shadow, pure void-black from head(?)-to-toe(?). They had no face, just a smooth ovoid outline above their shoulders(?). Just like a peeled century-egg -- you know what those are, yeah? 
They spoke, but without a mouth. I heard their voice straight in my occipital lobe. “Take me with you.” 
Although I was still paralyzed, I could feel, and so I knew there was a key in my hand. It was warm, hot even, and its shape which I could not see but felt was that of a car key. I was made keenly aware of a black car next to me, its seats all empty, waiting for me. 
Without my consciously willing it, I turned to the car door and opened it. The inside was wet; the seats were soaked through, and the brakes and pedals were submerged under a few inches of murky rainwater. As control of my body was restored to me, I reluctantly got into the
driver’s seat and started the car. I could just barely hear the rustling of the shadowy figure coming in to sit shotgun next to me. 
I have no idea where I thought I was going to go. My memories are already slipping away from me. I think...I spent so much effort trying to remember how it all started, I forgot to remember what happened at the end. You know, you can remember dreams so beautifully and vividly if you bother to go over what happened in them in your head as soon as you wake up. But if you don’t remember to remember fast enough -- like sand through your fingers -- it’ll all go away. And the ending, the destination, it’s gone away from me. 
All I remember is that I “woke up” in the middle of the road. A bus was honking right behind me -- it startled me “awake.” I wasn’t in a car anymore. No void-person was beside me. I was sitting awkwardly, not standing, just as if I were in a car but with the seat tilted back. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what really happened. 
I just feel that...I think I’m not alone. I think that that being, that entity, it’s merged with my shadow somehow, and now I’m taking them with me wherever I go. And I’m not scared of that at all; in fact, I’m happy. Because if I didn’t go temporarily crazy, that means I’ve touched a miracle, right? Something beautiful and interesting happened to me, today, on the most boring of rainy Monday mornings. 
What do you think?

Image by Sarah Valeika

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Untitled - Eva Syth
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Image by Hollis Long