I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration. Where it comes from. I know that it is different for everyone, but I don’t believe it is a magical, mystical process. I think it can be explained. Perhaps not well, but I think I can at least trace mine much of the time…
For me, inspiration comes from outside. I can’t be inspired if I turn inward. That is the filter that things run through, but the source of the inspiration itself must be something I see, hear, touch or experience. Sometimes it’s a piece of music. Other times it’s a phrase someone says, or even who they are. I’ve even been inspired by the feeling of wind across my face.
Oddly enough, nature doesn’t usually have that sort of impact on me. I love the scenery, but find it relaxing, not motivating. I know a lot of people who differ with me on that point–especially visual artists.
Also, there is a “simmering” time that the actual moment of inspiration needs to sit through before I do anything with it. The image or words or thought will stay in my mind and begin to formulate something–gradually. Sometimes it’s a phrase of movement. Somtimes an image. Rarely is it fully formed.
I then go through a process of revising things until they feel “right”. If I think about things too much at this point, I lose the thread. If I don’t, the idea and the process merge, creating something.
I think inspiration for me comes straight out of my subconscious–and that’s a good thing. By the time ideas or emotion hits our conscious mind, we begin to want it to fit neatly into our lives and thoughts. Sometimes things just don’t fit neatly. Creating something gives you a chance to express that which you cannot say.
After all, there aren’t always words for everything.
I’d love to know what others think about this subject. How do you get inspired? What is your process like?
It’s such a personal, almost private thing that it’s almost uncomfortable to talk about. I don’t know if I’ve done a “proper” job of tracing mine for you, but I hope you can get a feel for my pattern (as much as there is one) by what I’ve shared with you here…