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.

7 Comments

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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