Thinking about inspiration

Lots of arty things happening this week, I’ll let you know about them in the coming weeks. Today I’ve been musing about inspiration. I’m thinking it has a lot to do with taming the critic (you can read about that via my link love post). You know “feeling the fear and doing it anyway”, “just turn up everyday and do something” kind of thought processes. Sometimes it sure is tricky. As artists we have to have confidence in what we do even if it feels like no one else does. Some days it’s easy, you’re in the flow, the ideas, the technique are in rhythm and it’s all working. Other days it’s just hard slog. Learning to enjoy the journey means looking for ways to continue to feed the creativity even when one bit isn’t quite right.

I was watching a favourite TV program recently (Call the Midwives, BBC!) in which there was a traumatic moment and one of the nurses was told “hot chocolate, aspirin and bed”. It did make me smile! A little treat, something for the pain and rest. How can I apply that to thinking about inspiration? 

Here goes – a little treat: reading a favourite art book and store up ideas for later, catch up on blog reading and send encouraging comments to the writers, look back at your own work that you are proud of and that you know that others have appreciated – write down the good things you’ve discovered.

Something for the pain: I read recently about the law of contrary action (or something like that) – do the exact thing you might not want to do…for me it’s tidying up my studio and throwing stuff out. Sometimes it might be going back to some sketch studies and making yourself practice out technique. Hard but good in the end. I guess aspirin isn’t really like the contrary action thing, but it is like an aspirin in that it will distract from the ‘pain’. So put some music on while you do the hard stuff and get down with it!

Bed – just take a break. Leave it for a bit. Do something else. Let yourself off the hook and realign your thought processes. Love it.

It’s interesting that I am thinking about inspiration at the moment because I have had a lovely last few weeks of being on an artistic/creative high. Then where has this come from? I hear you ask. 

I happened to be unpacking my school bag and found a sketchbook from 2009. Back then I was thinking about inspiration too! So I took a browse through it. I felt quite encouraged. Which is a good thing, hey? Some of the pages are not worth bragging about but I did feel quite positive about most of it. This is what I need to do in the low moments I guess. Remind myself of the good stuff. There may just be something there that will get the inspiration going again.

Nothing like being prepared! How do you get inspired? Do you look back at previous work and take encouragement from it? I hope so, and I’d love to hear about it, JPImage


One thought on “Thinking about inspiration

  1. Hi Tonia…i just dropped by to say thank you for the postcard!! And what a small world, indeed. Here I am, writing you from Farnham — which is, at present, still kind of rainy and cold. Thank you for the postcard.

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