Inspiration is everywhere.
I'm not exempted from the many people who advocate this hopeful phrase. While I do believe in its ubiquity, sadly inspiration remains such a chore to pin down. This is never more true than when I sit before a blank page, canvas or screen, pregnant with a vision yet nothing to bleed.
But what if you, like me, create to live, and live to create and being uninspired is out of the question? What of the ever-fleeting allure of Inspiration?
But first, real quick, Inspiration — what is it again?
According to Wikipedia, Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning "to breathe into") refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour... It is prior to consciousness and outside of skill. Technique and performance are independent of inspiration, and therefore it is possible for the non-poet to be inspired and for a poet or painter's skill to be insufficient to the inspiration.
Perhaps my favorite delineation comes from celebrated author and literary sage, Vladimir Nabokov:
"A prefatory glow, like some benign variety of the aura before an epileptic attack - something the artist learns to perceive very early in life."
Is it just me or does Inspiration sound like it really should be the next epidemic?
In Greek mythology Inspiration is personified in The Muse, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). They are known as the goddesses who inspire literature, science, and the arts. Other names given to them are the Unconscious, the Self, the Creative Genius. Whatever it is, it is deemed as the unseen mysterious element where ideas and artistic spark come from.
Your recent song composition, a business model you're pioneering, the name you're calling your new comic strip series: they all come from The Muse. When any creative work results to a masterpiece, it is often postulated as "The Muse having her hands all over the artist." So it follows, in order to tap the subterranean river of artistic genius, we must first call on the attention of these mythical guarantors.
Am I about to say then that I believe in this rather absurd negotiation with a celestial girl gang?
Before you shake your logical head in dismay, it's not so much a matter of giving credence to their existence as it is about having something to serve as representation of artistic spark. In other words, I don't swear by it for nothing. I believe in these representations because it helps me deal with the evasiveness of the Creative Genius.
Now there is a wealth of information that suggests ways to find creative inspiration, brought to us most likely by stuff we've Google-d, books we've read, or courses we've enrolled in. To be fair, I may have immersed myself in these information. While some ideas work, it isn't so much about hacking inspiration — because that's not always possible — as it is about getting yourself to sit down and just. build. something. So excuse me while I gently set aside others' 2 cents in place of a gem of wisdom I had learned the hard way from my own journey. For some reason, I find it more noble to pour you a glass of wine I had subconsciously aged myself.
So. The one sure way you can track the muses down?