No Inspiration Needed

Question

“The conception of each star was at the point of no return; of a desperate soul struggling to master the winds!”
C. JoyBell C.

As an artist and writer I often get asked the question: Where do you get your ideas from? or Where do you find inspiration?

Well, art isn’t a cut and dry subject. In fact the very nature of inspiration, ideas and muse are quite complex and even paradoxical no matter what reference they’re assigned to.

Where does the business man get his motivation from?

Where does a nurse get his or her passion from?

Where does a mathematician find his sense of purpose, his need to solve or create complex problems, questions or ideas?

The answer lives strictly in the individual sphere. And even if I could explain the very nature of muse, it wouldn’t always be transferable to another. For example, here at the link below artist David Limrite writes about the various yet simple ways in which he acquires or drums out his ideas.

Where do My Ideas Come From?

His answers are unique to his personal experience, as they should be for all of us. What I can answer personally, or elude to, is that sometimes inspiration isn’t needed.

How is this possible? Aren’t all great works of art somehow inspired by something else?

No, not always. And quite possibly, not even half of the time.

The inner domain of the artist is a very creative place. Sometimes, it is out of this simple and basic desire to create something that we all begin our work. We feel a calling, an urge, a push from a divine inner force or what have you. Sometimes, it’s just an itch that needs to be scratched.

I want to create things because I can. It couldn’t get any simpler than that.

Often, yes, I’m inspired by a certain image that I come across. Other times I read something that makes me think beyond the box, or strikes my heart a certain way. I could even hear a song and be inspired by the lyrics or even by the tempo. But all of this is but cake for a creative spirit.

We, as truly creative beings, need no inspiration to create. We are motivated by an unseen realm of forces. These are the thunderstorms that rise from within and purge from our fingertips. They cannot be controlled, but they can be directed.

We need no reason, and we do not ask why.

If you ask a climber why he climbs a mountain, he’ll probably tell you simply because it’s there. And so it goes with art. We create because it’s there, because if we don’t we feel silenced, unfulfilled and empty. We feel the rumble of our creative voice stifled from within, and this cannot be. For any artist, it will not sit still.

We all have a voice within that longs to be heard and shared with the world. But sometimes, we long to hear our own voice, the ancient vernacular of the soul. It is within this primordial need that we find the first form and uttering of the artist.

Just as a child bellows out his first cry, only to hear himself, so we too cry out to the world to hear the same.

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Blank Beginnings

IMG_3135“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”~ Émile Zola

 

There it sits, right in front of you. You look at it, and you swear it looks back. It stares at you, looking right through you, taunting you to approach. You step forward, then back. You pace as it stares at you, mocking your stride as it sits motionless.

Your blank canvas has an agenda.

It’s up to you to unlock its secret story.

Often, we as artists stare at a blank canvas. We sit and we stare. We leave the room then come back and stare a bit more. Nothing changes. Time progresses, and it sits still, blank and void of color, emptiness projected through blinding white light.

We all endure this moment of creative stagnation. We have an idea, but we aren’t quite sure how to approach it. Sometimes the idea is blurry, resting in the fog of our mind’s eye. Sometimes the idea itself eludes us altogether, hiding behind other noise.

But we don’t give up. We wait. We want the right moment of inspiration. We yearn for that divine spark. And until that moment strikes us, we’ll have yet to breathe life into the blankness.

This prequel to the act of creation reminds me very much of myself as a young child. Too often I’d run off without any idea of where I was going or what I was going to do. And though I didn’t realize it then, it’s clear to me now that in those moments I was the most free, the most creative, the most pure. It is within this special place that the creative spark lives. In those moments, all I simply wanted to do was to be outside, to be free.

This is how we approach the blank canvas. We don’t have to have an idea, we just have to be there in the presence of life. We just have to have the desire, the fire that burns within.

To create art is to unlock the human experience, and to move the soul. It is to make the world feel. It is our way of living out loud.

We all just have to step outside sometimes and feel the breath of life grace our hearts. The direction will always find us.

Step toward the canvas, free yourself, and begin to live.