Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Source of Inspiration

“There’s a mystery there, a clue, a nut, a bolt, and if I put it together, I find me.” 
- Maurice Sendak

I seem to never be at a loss for inspiration. . .

I sit down at my little corner music studio and a song will always come out. I pick up polymer clay and something new is always fighting to be given life. I throw a piece of paper in the typewriter (Yes, typewriter!) and several poems will emerge. I take raw, mundane photographs and look at them and I see an image and story where there is none.

How is it possible to never have a lack of inspiration? Well, for me, be it a blessing or a curse, it is two things that are like the positive and negative of the electrical wiring that charges my creative spirit and makes this kid's battery go, go, GO!

One is, I long ago buried any notion that I was controlling creativity, It never works for me. I just dive in head first with no sense of success or failure as a barometer and no expectation of what may await.  I let it come to me on it's terms.  It teaches me. It guides me. It is never wrong.

There is no great revelation I await. No reward at the end. Creation has always been my chosen companion. I have always turned to it as therapy, as sure as I would a long standing friend. I do not argue with it or try to tell it what to do.  It has never let me down.

Creating is, to me, a life's work and a pursuit that is as beautifully simple and as mundane as any work I might choose could be. 

And second? A deep connection to my childhood imagination that I have never, and will never, let go of.

Every artist I have loved in my life seems to offer one consistent piece of advice. Whatever the medium, it is to "create from what you know."

Paint what you know. Write what you know. etc etc And, I will add to that and say that I believe we will never know more than we did when we were children. Oh, we learn much as adults and sometimes we have to relearn things again and again. . . but I am positive that as children, we are closer to the inherent truths of this world than we may ever be again. Any of you who HAVE children, you know this to be true. That sense of truth is lost in so many ways along the road to adulthood. .  .not always in bad ways or through ill intent.

I have, in the pursuit of living and creating a life as a full time "maker of things", had to unlearn much of what I have been taught about the world and what we "must" do as adults.

Of course, I always knew these things as a child but as an adult, I was taught differently. . . and, as I see it now, incorrectly.  I return to the things I knew in those early days. So far, it turns out they were right all along.

So those are my resources for inspiration.
The source of the well that has never run dry.
May it be the same for you in your own way.


This topic was inspired by the post at the AG Team Blog here:

Other creative views on it can be found here:

And here:

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