Inspiration is one of those crazy words I have a hard time typing.
Yep, that’s right. It is not a word that falls off my fingers onto the keyboard without reservation or hesitation. Which is kind of crazy in and of itself. What exactly is inspiration? How is it that we go through (ok, I go through, you can be your own judge of things) stages where I can’t put my camera down – nearly everything I see I feel like I have to grab and file away so that I can come back to it for some kind of fabulous project or other that comes whirling into my mind like a dervish, and then whirls away just as quickly.
I’m always on the fence about whether or not I’m ADD, ADHD, OCD, or a host of other acronyms that we use to label people who simply don’t conform to what a certain percentage of the population considers to be “normal” – although I really don’t identify with the average segment of the population, that’s for sure. I quite often find myself wandering in one rabbit hole or another – really, a serious spot for inspiration and introspection, if you ask me – chasing all manner of ideas that I can’t quite get my hands on and my head around, but that I do know will be fantastic and fabulous if I can snag them and turn them into something else.
I am inspired by all manner of strange objects and the like.
We were at the art show over the weekend – it’s sort of a cross between an art show and a craft fair – you know the type, tents and booths and those delicious paper bags of warm cinnamon dusted almonds. Not a real fair, thankfully, but mostly full of kitschy stuff that odd people buy and use to clutter up their spaces.
It’s not like I’m a real minimalist, although I do try to be at heart… I’m just too fascinated with collections and groups of things and I tend to run out of space before I run out of ideas. Right now I’ve got at least 3 sewing projects in the works, a pile of clay paillettes that have just dried stashed in my guest room, a half finished reupholstery job on the bench at the foot of our bed, and that’s just the stuff I can think of that is completely not work related in the course of 90 seconds.
Other times I couldn’t find inspiration if it hit me in the head with a stick.
Maybe it’s like a form of writers block or something, I surely don’t know… or maybe I really am one of those acronyms! There are times when nothing inspires, and it’s almost impossible to get going on any sort of new project. I really hate those times, especially if it’s too cold outside to go and do something else while waiting on inspiration to strike.
So I really don’t know where and how we find inspiration; why it comes to us at certain moments in our lives, and usually in great abundance when it does grace us. I often wonder how artists – really amazing artists – Picasso, Alvin Ailey, Mozart, and their ilk – found ways to keep creating when they weren’t really feeling like creating.
Does inspiration work differently in right brain people versus left brain people?
I think about someone like Einstein and I am not even sure he was a left brain kind of guy. I mean really, he came up with SO many different ideas and hypotheses and presumptions that we have to figure he had more than a passing bit of creativity in his makeup. But then I look at the gibberish that passes for physics on a chalk board and I really suspect it could all just be made up nonsense.
I am always amazed when I see really clever or really ingenious things that people have come up with out of nowhere. In my ideal dream world, I would simply go around from one thing to the next, thinking up new ways to design something, new ways to organize elements together, and not be fettered by the bounds of things like paying the mortgage or making sure the dog has food.
On the other hand, the dog isn’t the only one who likes to eat, so I’ve always been a bit saddened by the fact that most of the truly great artists were ‘starving’ for at least a significant portion of their lives (some of them learned it as children from their own starving artist parents!) unless they happened to get very lucky and find a good publicist or have some friends that were already famous artists to help them get noticed and drive the prices on their work up while they were still living…
Recently a friend of mine has quit her job and is selling her paintings as her sole occupation. I am incredibly happy for her but incredibly jealous of her willingness to take the leap into the great unknown of being an artist for a living. Of course, she’s also got a couple of college degrees and has great work experience if she has to pull the plug on the artist life and go back to the real world. And this woman is talented. Incredibly so. So I’ll just be happy for her and leave it at that… ok happy and still a little jealous!
Oh well, I’ve got about different ideas banging around in my head trying to get to the top, I’ve got to give them some free time to roam this evening!