I just found this quote and thought it might be a good reminder for myself and others who are looking to improve our creativity:
“Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ― Chuck Close
So what on earth does THAT mean?
diego_torres - Public Domain Image -
In my opinion (which, as we know, is always correct ; ), it means that too often people who aspire to create, sit around waiting for inspiration to strike before they begin to work.
But I learned long ago when I used to write music, and still need to remind myself as a visual artist, that just starting a creative project is often the biggest hurdle I have to get over.
And once I put on my "big boy" pants and sit down to write, or paint, or draw—no matter how I feel—the process itself either quickly, or sometimes painfully slowly, LEADS to inspiration.
So finding those satisfying and rewarding times of creative inspiration, often requires patience on my part. Back when I was writing music, I called it "priming the pump."
Sometimes I would sit down to write a song, and it would take hours and days and sometimes even weeks before real inspiration struck.
Other times, inspiration would come and be so powerful, it was like I was taking dictation from a source outside myself.
Ether way, without being there, in that moment, sitting with my instrument and pen and paper in hand (or paint brush and canvas as the case might be), working, rewriting, struggling, TRYING...that those amazing but sometimes very fleeting times of inspiration might never be found.
At other times, usually after long period of disciplining myself to be creative every day, I feel like I can tap into inspiration from the moment I sit down to work.
And that is EXTREMELY rewarding!!
So now I approach creating art, whether visual, music, writing or whatever, as a discipline, where instead of waiting to feel inspired—I simply begin the work—and allow the inspiration to come as and while I do.
Alex Hu- Public Domain Image -
This doesn't mean I don't also take time to simply sit and reflect...or to really look at, study, and simply enjoy other's creative efforts—because I do both and I find that very helpful too!
But there comes a time to roll up your sleeves and GET TO WORK—and PRIME THAT PUMP!
I NEED that reminder...and hope you find it helpful too!
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