WHERE DOES INSPIRATION COME FROM?

Sketch for "Mommerfly"

Sketch for "Mommerfly"

"Mommerfly" completed

"Mommerfly" completed

When people ask me where my inspirations come from? I wish I could explain. I don't really know. All I can do is describe my physical sensation.  When I quiet my mind (be it while I am going for a walk, or that I am relaxing during the day) a bubble of an idea will seemingly float up from my core, my gut, where it appears in my consciousness, thus drawing my attention.

It feels like something has suddenly put an idea in my awareness.

"When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally                                                        make way for inspiration ... to enter." Author, Julia Cameron  

I remember when I lived in Albany, New York and I began creating fiber sculptures, which were large whimsical figures made out of layers of hand woven fabric, stitched together and stuffed. Sculptural images would float into my awareness seemingly out of nowhere.

As with all inspiration, these were probably partially influenced by my physical surroundings and my life experiences. 

At the time I was living on a historic farm, surrounded by ten idyllic acres.  I also had two young daughters to whom I read many fantasy books.

Yet, it is impossible to totally explain inspiration.

For these whimsical figures (that were labeled by my oldest daughters as Nelafers) were unlike anything I had ever seen.  With their brilliant colors and there rounded interlocking shapes, they felt whimsical. Yet, most people will tell you, I am not a whimsical type person. 

So where did these inspirations really come from?

How did these images enter my psyche?

"Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses. "Author, Amy Tan

Certainly my Nelafers were symbolic about something from some part of me. Perhaps as psychologist Carl Jung would have said, they are from my "shadow side", or the side of me that I hide from myself.  (I have written in detail about this experience in my upcoming book, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma, to be published November 15.)

 "I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers or prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean."   Socrates

To me the key thing I try to remember is to give myself a quiet space in which to create or to let the inspiration arise. Yet, I think musician Bob Dylan is correct...

"Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. "

My next post will be about making space for inspiration. 

In the meantime, would you let me know how you make space for inspiration?  Please email me your thoughts.  Click on "Comments" below. 

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