Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I is for Inspiration

Heh, just kidding about that whole invisible thing...

Inspiration—which I have been sorely lacking recently—is an integral part to the creative process. Be it drawing a picture, creating an add campaign, or working on a blog, the creator has to have that initial spark of inspiration before the masterpiece/project can begin.

Now, some people may try to fly by the seat of their pants, or use a lack of time as their motivation for a piece (trust me, procrastination has fueled many an artist), but the brain never runs on empty and an idea can never pop out of thin air. ...Okay, it sorta does, but I mean it's never derived from nothing. There's history and experience leading into it.

Ever hear of subliminal advertising? Pretty much, if you see or hear something repeated enough times, it sorta gets ingrained into your brain, even if it's not what you're focusing on.

So, let's say you get up in the morning and watch the news while eating breakfast, during which time a commercial comes on for Hot Pockets pizza. You don't really pay attention to the commercial, but you leave the sound on out of habit. You pick up a paper on the way to work, in which is a large full-page ad for Papa Murphy's pizza. At work, everyone's talking about the big promotion of Pete Zamenkus. Your co-worker's favorite phrase is 'For Pete's sake'. On the way home, all you can think about is ordering a pizza... Ta da!

"But what does that have to do with inspiration?", you ask. Well, artists, writers, and other creative people, who are often naturally more open to the environment around them, can be easily susceptible to gaining inspiration from already trademarked sources.

"Hey! I just got an idea for a book! It's about an awkward girl who moves to a new town and falls in love with a mysterious handsome boy, who it turns out is an alien who can't go into direct sunlight. Sounds great, right?"

"Um...actually it sounds really familiar... Have you read Twilight?"

"What? You mean that vampire-flick that came out a couple years ago? Ick, no!"

"You sure?"

"Duh. But my sister drove me up the wall about it! Edward this, and vampire that. Sounded pretty lame."

"Maybe you oughtta watch it..."

*2.5 hours later*

Hehe, alright, maybe a little extreme/unrealistic that anyone would not know what Twilight was about and/or try to copy it. And, actually, if you go by Arthur Quiller-Couch's belief that there are only 7 basic plots, then you know that every story has already been written, and it's merely a changing of characters, setting, and style.

But all this seems to be getting a little off-topic.

Inspiration comes from our experiences, our senses. Perhaps you see something on your way to work and you scramble for something to doodle on. Perhaps a particular line catches your attention from a TV show and a whole series of ideas spring from your fingers to your keyboard. Perhaps you hear about how somebody famous did something amazing and you decide to donate to a charity.

Inspiration is taking an idea and putting it to action. Whether it be writing it down, drawing it up, or acting it out, you're always inspired to do something. Sometimes you don't realize it's happening, and it's just a subliminal response. But sometimes, it's simply too huge to ignore.

So tell me, what inspires you?

Some I Books I've Read:

An Intriguing I Group:

The I Font: