The Kiss of the Muse (What Inspires You to Create?)
It should be a simple question, right? And in some ways it is. What I mean by that is that I think we can all give an answer to this question to some degree but if we’re to fully analyze it all, take a deeper look to answer that ever present question that always seems to be on the lips of fans, buyers/collectors, galleries critics, friends and family members, things can get a great deal more complicated. It can feel like any answer is an incomplete one–one that doesn’t do justice to the whole truth with a capital “T.”
Nonetheless, I feel all of us can answer the question, especially if we understand and accept that answers such as these can never be explained fully and force ourselves to think and put to words some explanation as to why. Answering these “whys” tell us a lot about ourselves and help us figure out how we can inspire ourselves even when we don’t feel like making art. In general, it also forces us to think about our work and why we’re doing it. Since the purpose of so much art is to move people, challenge people, even inform people, the exercise can help us confront what’s behind our work and help us improve what we’re doing.
The Kiss of The Muse by Paul Cézanne
For me, inspiration comes from many places, including the desire to make people feel (and this runs the entire gambit of human emotions) or address a social movement. I find that ideas that appear to come from “nowhere”–when I’m not exploring a technical aspect or technique–often don’t and that such ideas for works are based on one of those two goals, and sometimes both, whether I at first realize it or not. Sometimes I create as a way of escaping the world as we know it and intend those creations to help viewers do the same. I also love challenging viewers’ preconceived notions about all sorts of things, juxtaposing ideas, techniques, and colors that at first look to be at odds, even hard or impossible to reconcile.
To further reveal the tip of the proverbial iceberg of the whys and whats, great artistic works by fellow artists, music, wondrous natural and man made scenes and landscapes, conversations with friends about various topics, and sunny days and extreme weather also help inspire.
And of course, there’s that drive–that overwhelming almost ever present urge to create that I think that can make the act of creating an almost compulsive–must do–directive that refuses to let me rest until a work of some sort is achieved.
So whether it be literature, the performing arts, or the visual arts, what are some of the things that inspire you, or rather move you, to create or perform? What drives you to paint?