If you are reading this, you probably have an interest in art. You probably have a particular art you are especially interested in and are trying to perfect. As an artist, this is question that I ask myself all the time. “Phil, what inspires you?” Then I blink and realize I’m asking myself a question that I’m trying to answer. If I had the answer, I certainly would not have to ask the question. So obviously, if I ask myself this all the time, I’m still trying to find the answer.
First of all, what inspires you?
Maybe you can answer it. There are, after all, quick answers to this question. It may come up on a whim in conversation: “What’s your inspiration?” You may have stock quick answers, but what non-artists-trying-to-understand-artists don’t understand is that art changes. It fluctuates. Art comes and goes, therefore, inspirations come and go. And to keep tabs on everything that inspires you or what inspires you more now than anything else is quite impossible.
Sometimes my inspiration is my puppy. I love coming across the random wild flower in the middle of nowhere. That inspires me as well.
Sometimes inspiration isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, or cute, fluffy objects. Sometimes inspiration is some man stealing children and turning them into soldiers or sex slaves. Sometimes inspiration is the injustice of the world or a fight with your spouse (though this may not always result in beautiful works of art).
Pinning what exactly inspires you is a hard question to answer. However, I think a good question to ask is:
How do we generate more inspiration?
There are four things I can think of that are characteristics of inspiration and will be helpful in leading to generating more inspiration.
1. Inspiration is raw at its core and generates from tapping into raw feelings.
It reaches deep into our deepest bowels and triggers some sort of emotion that, when utilized appropriately, leads to action of change. Historically, we see how it breaks down walls and breeds freedom, causes dreams that desire equality, sparks revivals in hearts and renews fervor to the emotionally drained. Inspiration writes stories and stories trigger inspiration. Inspiration causes you to move out of discontentment due to becoming aware of stagnant contentment.
Ask yourself, what is your life’s message? What does your heart break for? What gets you fired up in raw feeling of anger or joy?
2. Inspiration comes from facing fears.
Becoming open to being in love and getting married was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I’m not good with commitment. I never have been. However, it has been one of my greatest sources of inspiration.
3. Inspiration comes from believing in your voice.
For me, this related closely with the previous number. Part of what holds me back in my potential is second guessing what I have to offer the world. “Who is little ‘ol me to offer anything of worth to anybody?”
Have you ever asked that question? Most of any time in my life when I found myself in a leadership position was because somebody else asked me to do it, and, half-believing in myself, I did do it. However, I’m glad I did. This help me gain belief in my voice and my message.
Two years as a youth pastor were some of the most inspirational years of my life. This was all because I had found my voice, and not only was I generating more inspiration for myself, but I was for hundreds of teenagers as well.
4. Finally, inspiration best perpetuates itself through healthy community.
I think we can see that on the Envato marketplaces. Over my life, I’ve gotten to see several types of community. Some seem to be “healthier” than others. Honestly, I always scoffed when I would hear about people developing deep relationships online and then they would fly out to throw some big get-together with all their online friends they’ve met.
Does that really happen? For me, AudioJungle came at a good time. I was in a situation when I needed some good community, and, though I do have other local communities, AudioJunlge has become one of inspiration generation and encouragement. It has literally opened me up to a world of people I would have never known or run into and has built up my faith in humanity that there are good people all around the world.
You may be rolling your eyes at that but, though I don’t know about the other marketplaces too well, AudioJungle has a really good thing going. It is a great community of encouragers. And in a great community of encouragement, we find, yes, generation of inspiration. And generation of inspiration in community begets regeneration of it.
It’s the snowball effect. Sometimes we find ourselves complaining of the massive amount of items being added to the marketplace, but, perhaps, that’s due to our perpetuating inspiration out of such an encouraging community. In the end, I’m okay with that, then. I’m all for healthy community. And as an artist seeking inspiration, you should be too.
Now for your interaction.
I only mentioned four things that help generate inspiration. Did you think of something I didn’t? Let us know in the comments! Or, answer with some of the things that inspire you most.