I finally read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, the team behind the software company 37signals. It’s a book that’s been on my list for a long time now, and now I feel I need to reread it again once every few months so I don’t let the lessons get away from me.
One of those core ideas is the title of this post, “Inspiration is perishable.” In the book, the authors use the phrase in regards to pursuing a project before the idea and the passion get away from you, but the core idea of the statement extends beyond just a single project.
Let’s look at the idea of perishable inspiration in another way. If you read this site or others like it on a regular basis, you’re probably looking for creative inspiration to some degree or another. Why is it that we keep looking for that creative spark? Why isn’t one piece of inspiration enough?
Pieces that inspired us two weeks ago may not hold the same appeal any longer. It’s easier for a painting or a piece of music to continue to inspire us for a longer amount of time, but articles are generally only inspiring once – twice if the post is just amazingly good.
These bits of inspiration we find along the way have a shelf date, and then we have to look for new sources of inspiration.
How are you finding inspiration each day?
It’s tough to find it every single day, but we must keep looking. It’s far too easy to settle in a rut of not looking for that spark of creativity, but then we’re surprised when we’re unable to dredge our creativity back to the surface in time for a project.
I used to work with a pastor who loved this simple slogan: “vision leaks.”
Inspiration does the same. It perishes. It leaks. It goes sour. Without an active position on refreshing, replenishing, reviving – if you will – that inspiration, we stand the risk of creating stale art. We can go through the motions without actually feeling anything. Without actually conveying anything.
How do you find inspiration? Since this blog is aimed at a wide variety of artists, I would imagine our points of inspiration could be quite different.
I find story inspiring. I’m reading a book right now called Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, and I came across a couple of sentences that surprised me and got me excited about the craft of writing. The author is talking about a character who’s a cop on a distant space station, and the environment is rather trying for law enforcement. The book says, “The circle of life on Ceres was so small you could see the curve. He liked it that way.”
I love that phrase. “See the curve” of the circle of life. That makes me ready to pull out the draft of the novel I’m working on and go for it again.
I find photography inspiring. Thomas Hawk is a rather popular photographer here online, and his work really stands out to me. He uses a lot of landscape photography, but he also uses several different types of photos of people: portraits, candid portraits, etc. Each image tells a story all its own.
Think about how you find inspiration on a regular basis. Or, can you find something that will help you find creativity on a more regular basis. I’m certainly aiming for this site to be a consistent source of inspiration for you by finding interesting projects from artists around the world. (Just yesterday, I posted about a fun online musical experience called Incredibox.)
How about You?
How do you find inspiration? Do you have a plan, or do you hope creativity will fall into your lap?
Feature Photo Credit: Bammer Photos
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