Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Inspirations

I read somewhere this week that inspirations come from/through working; it was attributed to a well-known artist, but I can't remember to whom, or where I read it.

When I stick to one (or two or three) idea and keep working and developing it, I come up with what some may call inspirations which are like a leap in a step or thinking process. These, to me, are fruits of hard slog, so on the appreciation scale, they are between 60 and 75 out of 100.

Sometimes the physical motion of work, like warping, weaving or even ironing, brings on certain inspirations, and though I appreciate these, I have to interrupt whatever I'm doing to write these down. 25-85/100.

By far my favorite are the ones coming out of nowhere; the "a ha!" experiences. These are like gifts, free of cognitive charges. Sometimes these connect dots I hadn't noticed should/could be connected, sometimes they come from so far out the left field it's outside the ballpark, and I wonder about the origins for days, years.

I've had to learn to leave room for these spectacular gifts, and that was a hard slog. But sometimes I have the room now.


  1. I always prefer to think of inspiration as being that flash of an idea which begs to become reality. But the creative process truly does take a lot of work. Like Bach. I like your idea of writing your inspirations down though. I've not done that sometimes and lost them, never to be found again.

  2. Oh, I don't write down everything every time, Leigh. And sometimes I do but can't read them a few hours later. I'd like to think they will eventually come back, but it's like fishing, isn't it, Leigh. The one that got away...

  3. "a ha" experiences really do not come out of no where, nor are they free gifts. They come only to the prepared mind. It's rather like the notion that when the student is ready the teacher will come. You work very hard. It is, mysterious as it seems, out of that hard work tht your "a ha" experiences come.

  4. I don't know about working hard, Peg. Sometimes I think I enjoy calling this an artist's life because I can be at my laziest, slackest, unstructured-est best.

    Either way, one has to be receptive to these, I find, and I hadn't been for a long time. Now, in my relatively anything-goes life, some days inspirations are a dime a dozen! But clearly not always, and clearly not all are smash hits, no pun intended.

  5. Thank you, Taueret. A wee bit of "what the heck, let's press this button" manipulation. Like most things in my life, I couldn't repeat it.

    We watched the very start of Bathurst just now and Lee Kernagham (??) sang the national anthem with a country twist - nice job! I wonder if there's a Shannon Noll version; must Google. Couldn't imagine "God of Nations" in a relaxed mode, or crooning, or jazzy, really.


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