inspirationIf you are an artist of any kind, the first thing you have to do it is get inspired. But I think that is true for everyone. Something has to motivate you to get up and face your existence every morning. For some it might be having money and the lifestyle that goes with it, while some people just want to take care of their family. Others want to serve humanity, yet some just want to serve themselves. Being inspired can be the difference between a great piece of art and a sofa painting, but it can also be the difference between a fulfilling career and a workaday job. It can make a marriage happy – or not. It can make you healthy. It can make you learn. It can make you sing. Being inspired by something can turn a prison into a possibility.

I get inspired by the world around me. I try to understand it, but I also revel in the fact that I will never know everything about it. Of course art has always been a part of the search for the answers to life’s big questions. But for me, it’s the simple things that drive my work. The color of a robin’s egg can give me enough inspiration for an entire series of paintings. I tend to leave ideas like the meaning of life to those with loftier expectations. Though I guess it all amounts to the same in the end. After all, when you get right down to it, isn’t the color of a robin’s egg as big a mystery as anything else?

Of course there are times when nothing seems new or interesting. I putter around and accomplish nothing. Again, I am certain that this is a part of life we all go through. You don’t have to be an artist to be uninspired. And I overcome this the same way everyone else does – I just keep going, I keep looking. Sooner or later I see a cloud, or an odd shaped tree, or a pebble on the ground and “click” – I get an idea and the world of possibilities opens up again.

What inspires you? It can be a tricky thing to ask yourself. I’m sure that many a good shrink have labored in vain to get their patients to answer that question honestly.

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