inspiration is the reward

Inspiration is a tricky thing, elusive, mysterious, and seemingly oh-so-necessary. As artists, we seem to be in a constant mad quest for it: despairing if we don’t have it, desparate to hang on to it when we do.

Yet I have finally realized that this is backwards. If I depended on inspiration to create art, I’d never get anything done. For me, inspiration is not the fuel of my art, it is the reward for creating it. When I am focused and disciplined in my art creation, then sometimes I am granted a small blessing, a brief moment of clarity and vision and confirmation.

But without the work, I don’t earn the inspiration.

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7 Comments

  1. That’s funny, because I’m the opposite. I’m constantly bombarded with fresh ideas and concepts, and I want to work on all of them. For me, inspiration is abundant. For me, focus and perseverance are much harder elements of the creative process to come by.

  2. I think it works both ways. Sometimes just getting in there and doing the work spurs more ideas, more creativity. But other times the ideas and creative inspiration flows best when I give myself a break, like when I’m out for a walk.

  3. I like this. I find inspiration everywhere I look, yet so much of it I have no idea what to do with, how to use it in my art. It does not tell me where to start. Then once I get in the studio and start working, these stored bits pop out at just the right moment, triggered by the work and pleasing me immensely. Yes, discipline is key.

  4. I just had this conversation over tea and cake this afternoon. I’m rarely “inspired”. I just show up and work. Discipline IS everything.

  5. Great topic! I agree that sometimes you just have to show up and have trust in the process. I never know when or where inspiration is going to grace me with it’s presence, but I do know that working regularly helps open the door a little wider, making it easier for ideas to float in.

  6. Thanks for your feedback everyone.

    @Rasmus: I know what you mean. I get inspired like that all the time as well. But I always found it to be too much. It can too easily overwhelm me, and I stard much more than I ever finish. I’ve learned that I need to focus, to limit my sights, in order to produce my best work.

  7. Sharron Clemons

    I think it works both ways. Sometimes just getting in there and doing the work spurs more ideas, more creativity. But other times the ideas and creative inspiration flows best when I give myself a break, like when I’m out for a walk.

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