Breadcrumbs: Inspiration

Inspiration isn’t here for you, you have to chase after it and take it wherever you can find it.  I have given up on waiting for inspiration, I go looking for it, and here are some reliable hunting grounds:

  • My own past.  It can be incredibly fun to go back and watch movies or listen to music that previously captured my imagination.  Often by revisiting the past, I see something I had missed before.  The books, movies and music don’t change, but I do and I’m able to revisit them as a different person.
  • Libraries and bookstores.  I can trace several life-changing events back to my childhood library.  It was there that I discovered the art of Dale Chihuly and felt as though I had never seen the world in color until that very moment.  I found the books of Terry Pratchett and felt like I’d found an old friend.  I picked up CD’s just because I liked the album art and discovered all kinds of new music.  Don’t be afraid of idle wandering through the stacks.
  • Music.  I have no musical talent whatever, and so I’m fascinated by people who do.  I try to cultivate wide tastes and I’ll try anything once.  As with any artist, it can be thrilling to watch a musician grow and mature over the years.
  • Boredom.  Pure, unadulterated, toxic-in-high-doses boredom.  I have a whole post dedicated to boredom, as my relationship with this one is complicated.

I’ve learned to work without inspirations’ guiding light, but it is just that: work.  There comes a point when a project isn’t fun anymore and whatever spark got me started has long since faded.  In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t know of a single project I was able to finish where my original inspiration carried me all the way through.  I still have to remind myself that to create more and more complex work, I have to become more and more disciplined.  Sometimes art is less romance and more just putting in the hours, and that’s okay.

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