I talk a lot about inspiration when I teach – was I missing something – is it just fluff?
I think inspiration is a gift, and the result of feeling fully alive, in the moment – some say, to be “in spirit” – a gift that brings with it a whirl of ideas and visions so immense I can’t get enough paint to canvas in time to express it all.
Feeling inspired usually comes when I get out and travel, see a new environment, see other artists’ work, or the work of Mother Nature. Finding inspiration is something that make me feel fully happy in my sweet little human experience. Truly, this IS when my best work comes.
But we can’t always feel inspired. With nearly 20 years in the creative and graphic design fields, I’ve had to learn to sit down and make lovely things even when I don’t feel like it. I’ve taught myself and my body how to shake off a bad day, go for a run or drink a latte or take a quick snooze, or whatever it takes, to get back to the studio, put pen to paper, and meet that deadline.
But the latte, the run, 20 minutes of meditation – those are how I get inspired to be creative. And I’ve learned that I cannot make great work if I don’t make those actions part of my process. And chocolate.
Today one of my favorite artists, Jeremy Collins posted the full Chuck Close quote on his instagram account, and I finally got it:
With a sigh of relief I realized, OK I do this. I do show up, even when the clouds haven’t parted. And, yes, the work is necessary. I don’t think I know a successful artist or business person who doesn’t have this practice.
I have to admit, however, that I am my mother’s child. If inspiration IS for amateurs, than let us eat cake. I’ll sit down and do the work. Every time. But I want the inspiration. I wait for the clouds to part, the moon to wink, the river to sparkle, the eagle to fly overhead. Maybe I’m an amateur, but I am in pursuit of inspiration.