I used to think that inspiration meant that when you saw something, a sunset, an interesting face, or another artist’s artwork, and thought “Oh yes! I want to make a painting of that!” and you rush to the studio to make a painting based on that inspiration. Well, now my thinking is changing on that.
I am taking an online course The Creative Visionary Path with Nicholas Wilton and the first thing in the course is to spend a week thinking about what inspires you. I’ve come to realize that the concept of inspiration isn’t as narrow as I used to think. Inspiration can be something that fills you up. With joy, with peace, with love. It’s those mental images or videos that you go back to over and over because they bring such emotion. Serenity. Satisfaction. That in turn enriches your life and inspires you to create, problem solve, live.
I am inspired by the sound of waves, trickling water, birdsong and the wind in the trees. An hour in a hammock with nothing to do but listen to the birds. The color blue, especially in combination with other blues, purples, turquoises and greens. Looking at old houses and imagining what life was like within those walls when they were built. New York City and the energy that flows through it and energizes everyone and everything in it. A belly laugh so hard that my abs ache the next day. These are the things that fill me up and indirectly make me want to paint. Not necessarily a painting of a sunset or birds or a person laughing. I may have an idea that I want to try like a new way to layer paint, or there’s no idea but I just go into my studio and start smooshing paint around, but these things that inspire me give me the mental energy or drive to put myself into that painting.
I realize now that many things get in the way of me and my inspiration. Worrying if it’s good enough, will other people like it, will it sell. All these anxieties get in the way of connecting to what truly makes me feel open to creating something without knowing what it will be in the end. So the real work is letting go of needless worries and just be open to those small moments that bring joy.
What inspires you? Send me a note below. Also, I’m redoing my website. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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