“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.” – Chuck Close
Yes, I agree. Sitting around waiting to be inspired will result in you sitting around doing nothing for a long time. I had a professor tell my screenwriting class that creativity does not happen in a vacuum. He also told me I should never write, and other professors in LA told me otherwise.
But I digress.
Though one should not wait for inspiration/motivation/[insert other things we wait to happen], it might not hurt to look somewhere for a nice little nudge in the right direction.
For me, one of these sources is Vimeo. Its a video hosting site for the more creatively inclined. Leaning more towards the cinema side of the image, it is a great place to find what different creative people are doing. The trick is not to compare one’s self or work to these people, but to learn from them. I have a lot to learn, and I hope to be able to improve, as do all creative types.
This is a charming little film about a girl trying to capture the light coming though the window. While it is not a outstanding story, it is an interesting perspective through the world of a child. And as the little girl cannot bottle up the light to keep in a bottle, we as artists cannot capture and bottle inspiration. Sure, just like a lightbulb is continual man made light, you can find websites devoted to creative inspiration. But is it really the same? Is the light from a CLF bulb the same as the light and warmth of the sun shining through the window? Of course it isn’t. So where does inspiration come from? I think that depends on the person.
As a man made light cannot truly replace the sun, reading about creative inspiration will not create true inspiration. What inspires one painter, or photographer, or whatever will not necessarily you. Or if it does, it will not inspire you in the same way.
As the little girl in the film discovered, natural light cannot be captured and kept despite her best efforts. Yet she discovers that even though she cannot keep the light from fading, it will return. It might not always be in the same place, but it will return. Genuine creativity is very much the same. As awesome as it would be to bottle up natural creative inspiration to use whenever, it will appear and vanish in a similar manner as the light.
But do you give up when the light coming though the window is gone? Does it mean you have lost that creative spark? No. Like the beams of light shining through the window, creativity has it’s own natural cycle. And creativity is sparked by the world around us.
I think that is where I currently struggle. I am not working, I don’t get to see my friends often, so I feel my creativity has dried up. I don’t feel inspired. The key word here being “feel”. Even our creativity is motivated by emotion. As much as that can enhance, it can also hinder. Instead draw inspiration from the world around you, even if your tiny little world is a very limited one. If the world was created by something bigger and infinite more creative than us, then inspiration should not be that hard if you know where to look. Sometimes, all you have to do is look within to find it.
It is pretty clear I am talking about God in those last few sentences. I mean the God of the Holy Bible. If this world was created by God, then how do we tap into even the smallest fraction of that creativity? That is what inspires me. And how it inspires me is going to be different than others in the faith. I think that is a different post for another time.
So what drives you to create (or do whatever it is that you do)? Why? How?
Those last two questions are ones I am still trying to answer.