Entry 83: Inspiration
Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
What inspires you?
Well, I guess it depends on what you consider as creative on your part. For some, cooking is creative, or setting up a group party, or even rounding up a few college buddies and putting together a film. But to find inspiration to do these things, there has to be that mental stimulation.
But where do ideas come from? Well, as an artist, we honestly say that we stole our ideas from other artists. However, stole might not be the politically correct thing to say, so instead, we are inspired by other artists.
Gathering inspiration to form ideas comes from our natural observation of the outside world. By listening, watching, touching, smelling, and tasting the elements around us, we individually process everything in different ways. The accumulation of all these experiences can randomly align into a thought. A thought that provokes your attention. A thought that leads to a new discovery that originated from what already existed.
So with all the infinite possible combinations of ideas that can be created, it would seem like a piece of cake to create a new and original idea by yourself. But in actuality, this is quite difficult. Well, in a way, it is more difficult to create an idea that others would enjoy or be interested in.
For example, let's say I wanted to create a horror movie about sea creatures that seek revenge on all humanity after they become mutated from all the trash we dump, and they use magic to bend reality and invert the land and sea, causing humans to adapt to water and vice versa. While this might be an idea that I just created, I might be disappointed if I was planning to submit this to a film studio and they rejected it immediately, with a personal note saying how terrible the idea is.
In retrospect, I created an original idea, but if my intended goal was to share this idea for others' enjoyment, then I might have to make some revisions. But this brings us to another point: what is your intent with your idea? Are you trying to gain success from it? Are you trying to help society? Or are you trying to prove that you are the greatest at coming up with ideas in general?
We as adults become subjected to years of rejection and disappointment when we try to create ideas, whether someone says "that's dumb" or "that already exists." But when we were children, we were masters of ideas. The world was new to us and everything was exciting, so it was fun to experiment with all this mental input and pretend with others.
Yet as we grow up, the world seems smaller and older, and a few things have that original spark that stimulates our souls. It becomes harder to find inspiration, and, as a result, things around us begin to lose their luster.
So where can you find inspiration?
Again, it depends on what you consider as creative. For me as a visual artist, I am most inspired by what I see. Some other person might approach me and pitch an amazing saga of robots and monsters that are as beautiful as they are deadly, but I might have difficulty following because I need a visual reference to fully understand that person's idea. The flip-side is also true, I can explain things better with visuals, like hand gestures or doodles.
So when is comes to finding inspiration, I examine at nature, observe people interacting with one another, and I watch the same amazing 3D movie again to pick up on the subtle nuances that make it great (Pixar's Ratatouille).