Are you inspired? Do you have to be? Does being inventive make a part of your job description? How do you do it?!..
Ancient Greeks didn’t see much mystery in creativity. From their perspective all ideas came from the single source: the gods. Each of Zeus’e nine daughters, the Muses, were curators of art departments: poetry, song, dance, and so on.
Convenient, non? Where can one get their phone numbers?...Ummm?... It was also common to attribute inspiration to “madness”; creativity was an act outside our control. In fact the phrase “You must be out of your mind” did not equate to insanity, it referred to the notion that creative ideas are originally conceived outside the human body.
In the Middle Ages Italians, like the Greeks, explored the idea of madness (pazzia) as a key to creativity. It wasn’t pure insanity, rather a melancholic temperament.
Freud believed that creative acts are fed and shaped by the unfulfilled needs of the creator. Childhood experiences and unresolved conflicts were the focal point of his thesis on creativity.
For me inspiration has two branches: rational creativity and pure artistic creativity. I learned to deal with the first one. Brainstorming with a notepad and a pencil, defining framework, add a deadline et Voila!, the solution comes. Pure artistic inspiration is a tricky one. The harder you look, the better it hides. And then it jumps out on you when you least expect it.
Sometimes being stuck is a source of inspiration itself! I raised a couple of eyebrows speaking about inspiration. People expect something outstanding, highly dramatic or turbulent…How about Hungarians as a creativity catalyst? (I can’t explain it, it would take a book!) Or how about a book? Or even a book cover? One of my last paintings was inspired by an art book about Paris. I saw its bald cover, and I saw a painting in my head. Another question is whether I managed to transport the idea onto a canvas. Talent is a topic for another time :-).