Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Inspiration: Where Does It Come From?

I recently became a member of a social networking site for artists
www.amateurillustrator.com

http://www.amateurillustrator.com/galleries/index.php?cat=16706

Last week, I was just getting to know the other artists on this site through the forum, and I was introduced to Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity, a podcast on www.ted.com. Elizabeth said in the video that creativity comes from a divine spirit. The Greeks called it a daemon, a sort of muse that would be the source of inspiration to an artist's work. Sometimes I'm up until the break of dawn working on a creative project that I feel will be a success. Then I publish it to Youtube, or send it to be reviewed by a potential employer. If I am rejected, rather than excepting full responsibility, and spending the rest of the week in depression I just accept the fact that the divine breath of the angels of genius wasn't strong enough to make it work. If it becomes a phenomenal hit, and sells for a thousands of dollars, rather than put the pressure on by expecting the same results on the next project, I just give thanks to my daemon for giving me the inspiration to have done such a great job, not knowing if I will ever do such great work again. I have to accept that its just not something in my power to produce every time I pick up that paintbrush; that I alone can not be a great artist, but it is something outside of myself that I have to tap into to achieve success. All I can do is be here at my easel everyday ready to create whatever comes to my mind, and I hope that whatever it is, has genius in it. In a sense, being an artist is a spiritual journey. A quest to be part of that act of creation that defines all things in our imagination.
So now you might be thinking something like, "Okay...So how do I do that?" It's not something we can control really, but it helps to be open. The first step is to believe that anything is possible. The more open we are to new situations and ideas about things, the greater a chance we have of finding inspiration in our work as artists. Being inspired is like being possessed. When Michael Jackson danced his heart out on that movie screen, there was something Godlike in him. Great art comes from powerful creative energies that we allow to take over our bodies. Once the spirit takes you, you are no longer in control of when you eat, rest, or speak. You must surrender your will to the spirit as you are working, because it won't be there for long, and there's no telling if it will ever be there again, but if you are always welcoming the creative energy in your life by forcing yourself to see things in different ways than you would otherwise, then there is a strong chance that you will find brilliance in your work, and become a great artist.

Happy hunting! :)

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