Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Connection between Inspiration and Motivation

It amazes me how hard it used to be to come up with an idea for my art. Any idea at all. I would sit here, at the dining room table, with pastels in hand and my sketchbook in front of me and nothing would come. I'd look outside and think "how beautiful". But if I tried to draw what I saw, nothing would come out right and I'd end the time more frustrated than I started.

Now inspiration comes frequently and almost casually. This morning, all it took was a quick glance at a photo of an artist working on her project to get me up and going. The image of what I would make popped into my head in a moment. I see trees waving, spring birds, and deep greens against a bright robin eggg blue with some earth tones thrown in for depth. Now, when I look at my blank paper I can envision the sketch completed. Like Michaelangelo's famous comment about seeing the angel in the stone and carving to set it free, I can now mix reality with the imagined in my mind to the degree that I can "see" them combined. When I look at a wall, I can see the painting I want to put there. I don't have to draw it out to see it any longer, but I used to. My sketches are mostly visual notes now.

Being able to visualize, the instant inspirations, the dozens of ideas; these are all benefits anyone will experience once they've committed to creating. It starts simply, although a bit tediously. Like learning a new language, I put my time in relearning the rudiments of my art. I kept a sketchbook, I drew whether I felt like it or not, I searched out new mediums and techniques. The key, according to many great artists, to feeling inspired, is not a great imagination but the ability to work, whether they feel like it or not. Often the greatest are those who were simply tenacious. They could not, would not, give up. In mind, that means inspiration is the result of motivation. How do you motivate yourself to work? Do you have goals, dreams, aspirations? Is it something you love the feel of doing? Do you have a set time for creating or do you wait to find those times when you "feel" like it? Leave a comment- I'd love to know what motivates you to create.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on the subject. Enjoy!

"Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and work."- Chuck Close
"Don't wait for inspiration. It comes when one is working." - Henri Matisse
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. " -Pablo Picasso
"I'm not inspired every day I go to the studio, but you've got to push yourself. Do it every day and once in a while things will really click. That's the biggest high you can imagine."- Jamie Wyeth

No comments: