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.