I'm going to argue with a term today. A lot of you won't like it. ...but bear with me...I think I will make sense by the end.
The term I am wrestling with today? Inspiration. Everyone is inspired by everything. You knock off a design from a catalog and it was "inspired". Well, not so much - it was just knocked off. ....and in my ethical world I don't have a problem with knock offs that you aren't selling...go for it. Just don't call it inspired.
This is the thing...
It's hard to get inspired if you aren't bored.
|ME -- kinda bored.|
That is one of the gifts God gives us -- this desire and ability to weave inspiration and create something.
The only caveat?
We have to wait for it. We have to wait until we are bored and then it strikes. The creative genius doesn't come when you are looking at fabulous ideas. The strike of a new thought isn't found on the pages of pinterest. It isn't even found in old books, old movies, or beautiful ancient cathedrals with magnificent stained glass windows. those things are all inspiring -- they are all the threads of the web, but they aren't the NEW IDEA.
The new idea comes when you are sitting on your front stoop, dappled sunlight dancing across your face and you check your watch wondering when the bus will come. 10 more minutes? Should I get a magazine...nah too tired...hmmm that green is really pretty...it kinda looks like the green of that arch that was weathered copper...you know I wonder what it would look like if............ THAT my friend, is inspiration.
Inspiration is not looking at a catalog page and liking the colors so you decide to create a room based around those colors.
(That is completely fine by the way...lots o people do that, but I'm going to argue that it isn't particularly "inspired".)
The concept that blows your mind is the one that comes to you when you are sitting in church, the message isn't really your thing this morning and your mind drifts. You start looking at the shapes in the ceiling, doodling on your paper. Your mind picks up bits and pieces of what the pastor is saying and everything weaves together until BAM -- you've got the idea. THAT is inspiration.
Inspiration is when you are chilling in the bathtub...60 minutes after you hopped in...all the magazines are read, the catalogs are tossed across the bathroom floor, but you don't want to get out yet. There is this seed of an idea way back in the back of your head and you know if you start unloading the dishwasher and loading the washer and watching Mad Men - -- it will just go POOF. GONE. So you sit...wiggle your toes...add a little more hot water and then all the sudden, you go into that half asleep, half awake world and the idea comes. Inspired.
You know that feeling right? That one in the bathtub when you start to fall asleep? The waking UP feeling is even better. You know the one where you think it is time to wake up., but you don't want to pull yourself out of the dream just quite yet. You can think consciously and unconsciously at the exact same moment. Your thoughts begin to weave, and they are well primed at weaving because your mind has been dreaming now for hours....and then it hits you. The plot line - the story -- the image of the main character. You've got it. You flip open your eyes like a plastic coated light switch, reach blindly for your journal (where ARE my contacts?) and begin furiously scribbling your thoughts. You know you've only got about 30 seconds to remember it -- remember everything and you've got to get it down or again...it will go POOF. Goodbye. Sionara inspiration. All gone.
Those ideas that you can't get out of your head when you're walking around with a cup of coffee in your hands in the morning. The thoughts that keep coming back on that 10 hour car ride to Ohio. Those are the ideas of inspiration. Those are the ideas you should fixate on and weave them within the confines of your experiences.
I say this not to say everyone has to think like a creative. I know at least half of the people in the world DON'T think like this. You know...the ones that can actually do math. I can't do math. ...but I get inspired. I have mini-moments of fixating on ideas, words, images, thoughts. That is how my brain works. ...but it only works like that when I give it space to. When I fill my brain with too much "inspiration", then it can't be inspired.
So you are one of those creative minds too?
Stop reading for a minute. Stop looking at art. Stop engaging your mind and let it weave.
THAT is when the inspiration will come.