Arts Creativity

A barometer for inspiration

Image by Wells Baum

Inspiration fuels aspiration. Without inspiration, we relax on our laurels and accept things the way they are.

There's no lack of material for inspiration. It can found everywhere: on the Internet, in a book, from a role model, or in a chat with a loved one or a friend. But a surfeit of inspiration can backfire. Seeking too much of it can descend into inaction and stagnation.

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

Chuck Close

If we aspire to be an artist, we have to sit our butts down and grind it out. This means acting like a professional. No one's going to pity the artist that skips practice and doesn't ship their work.

Inspiration is just a temporary stimulus, no different than coffee. It helps motivate artists to be consistent and push through the hard times but it doesn't guarantee success.

By all means, seek inspiration. Aspire to be great. But avoid seeing inspiration and aspiration as prerequisites for action.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

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