Man, inspiration really shoots out of some people like a BB Gun from childhood. Actually we totally played with potato guns. Those welts sting because you’re like, “and what I am creating?” I can usually tear myself away from that jealous twinge with the satisfaction of seeing someone creating an image of what’s just spilling from their brain.
My best friend Nat is a doodler, sometimes I’m just fascinated looking at the lines she creates, the space. This artistic development might sound like something that makes shitty people say, “don’t quit your day job.” Creation isn’t tangible though, so screw those people. I’d buy that girl’s greeting cards and coffee mugs in a second.
For my creative art, I’m a mind-mapper, the way my brain patterns connections for me to write essays is unique to me only. Lots of writers talk about process, but recently I read a tweet (that I can’t find) talking about how writers fumble around when they’re asked about process. The tweet said something along the lines of — most writers don’t even know they’re process, they’re just doing what comes naturally to them. To talk about your own evolution from point A to point B is doable, but to talk about the trench of matter that you tousle daily is a whole other conversation. It’s difficult to possess, let alone explain.
A way to combat trying to explain yourself, your art, is just to share it. Let the interpretation be the explanation. I prefer saving other people’s art to an inspiration board on Instagram. I love following artist accounts on Instagram because not only do I get to watch process and progress videos, but I get to see the evolution of their art, their color and shape choices, the way their mind works across a blank page. Watching someone else create can stir something in our own creating. Maybe that is where explanation can be found — in finding semblance in your choices and another artist’s choices.
Here are some of my saved photos on my inspiration board:
It might sound strange, but I also love reading how artists describe themselves — what they name their skillset in labels and spaces. If I was asked about where I fit writing-wise, I don’t think I could label myself as an essayist, poet, or novelist. I like to think I’m someone that strings words together like candy necklaces; I can just as easily chew them up into powder in my hands — watch them waft away.
I tend not to read a lot of artist biographies, but I do love reading comics, and art books by authors like Lynda Barry, Austin Kleon, or Keri Smith. Coming up in my TBR pile, I found The Secret Lives of Color in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam — definitely ordering that with my next Barnes and Noble Gift Card. It tells the anecdotes and moments in history behind certain colors. After going to the Musee D’Orsay while in Paris, I’m ready to pick up the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Vincent Van Gogh by by
Where do you find inspiration? Where next should we all scour for a creative outlet, or search the jingling bells?