Whether you’re an artist, a homemaker or an accountant, in order to live a creatively charged life you have to find inspiration. Connecting with your creative self ultimately fuels every aspect of your life and brings a renewed appreciation for the world around you – its beauty, its opportunities, its energy… How, exactly, can you spark and harness that inspiration? The following list offers a few ideas.
When it comes to creativity, an artist’s focus is critical to his/her ability to produce good work. When I’m “on,” when I’m enmeshed in the creative process ideas, formation and execution exist symbiotically. It’s easy to become totally absorbed in the creative flow when this happens, and hours can go by before I even realize the time. Occasionally, though, I also have bouts of frustration as I try to access my inner muse and she wants to be anywhere but here. Those of us who are fortunate enough to practice our craft for a living face a particular challenge… to create, which is a delicate process, on demand in a world whose conditions often seem to conspire against that process. How can we find and don our creative skins each day? For many artists, including me, one way is with a ritual.
Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincent van Gogh and Virginia Woolf all had something in common. They all suffered from depression. There have been fascinating studies in the past few decades that acknowledge a link between creativity and depression. In fact, a large number of the world’s greatest composers, writers and artists have suffered from various forms of mental illness, from depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This realization isn’t surprising, though, if you know creative people.
A live arts experience can be fleeting. A play or concert might only last two hours. A poetry reading – even less. A visit to a museum offers palpable pleasure while physically there, but, as they say, you can’t take it with you. By the time we return home the multiple, finer details of a cultural experience are already fading. Sifting through the day’s mail or cleaning the dishes, we might only remember key moments or an overall impression of what we’d seen just hours before. Some of us wish the moment could have lasted longer or, better yet, come home with us to be played over and over again. An arts experience, so moving at the time, is impermanent. Why, then, do so many of us spend our hard-earned money on an art experience, when the benefits could be perceived as nothing but temporary?
When it comes to performing, when are artists at their best? Is it in youth, when bodies are limber and compliant with the physical and technical demands of an art form? Or is it when they are older, when life experience has provided fodder for deeper expression? Continue reading
Living things sometimes defy the norms of their species. It isn’t common, but when it happens it usually produces something interesting, thought provoking or beautiful. Continue reading
Everyone is talking about the economy these days. Let’s face it, most of us are being impacted, personally, by these difficult times. So when someone asks us to support the arts, the request is often overshadowed by, what some call, the larger issues of consumer spending, unemployment, merchant profits and government revenue. Continue reading