“People who are not artists often feel that artists are inspired. But if you work
at your art you don’t have time to be inspired.”
Earlier in the week I read an interesting blog post by Alison Jardine titled “Inspiration is Irrelevant”. Alison speaks of her experience answering a simple question from a local college student on assignment. The question asked was, “Where do you get your inspiration?” her response was, “I answered immediately with the first words that materialized, and as I said them I knew they were, for me, completely true: ‘Inspiration is irrelevant’” she goes on to explain quite clearly, “Each painting I create is a distillation of my experiences of perceiving and existing, they are my answer and reaction to simply being.”
I too am often asked this question and I usually find myself stumbling over the answer. Where does my inspiration come from?? I agree with Alison’s response that each painting is a distillation of experiences, but is inspiration irrelevant to me?
In the past weeks I feel as though I have been wandering among ideas. I have been looking a lot, trying new tools, new colors, new directions. Looking for a spark of “inspiration” to push my work just a little bit further. Digging deep, simplifying, complicating, pushing, struggling. I wrote previously that sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places – I still believe this. Inspiration, motivation, determination, are all a part of the daily process of creating and without the continuous internal dialogue of experiences there can be little room for any creativity. Inspiration may be irrelevant, but without the understanding that it is the continuous collection of experiences stored in our souls that feeds us as artists, it may be a bit difficult to understand the magic. I believe inspiration comes in many forms, it is everywhere, it can often go unnoticed and yes, perhaps it is often irrelevant, but it is also the intangible thing that people who are not artists always seek to understand. It is often that thing that there are no words for. I expect I will continue to stumble over my answer, perhaps inspiration is irrelevant and invaluable at the same time.
Thank you Alison for stating your thoughts so clearly.
“My ‘inspirational’ or creative process feels like a dialogue between the collection of experiences that comprise myself as well as my immutable core, and the lines, form, colors and light in the natural world.”
Painting is available.