Oh, the irony.
Here I am, snowed in, still recovering from some series of flus and colds, in a writing and painting rut, trying to plan my daughter's 3rd birthday party and not having much inspiration with any of it, and the commitment comes calling to share "What Inspires Me" with the world.
Don't get me wrong, it's and awesome blog mashup, started by an awesome blogger, thank you, Victoria of SFgirlbybay, but the timing is flat out inconvenient. DAMN YOU LIFE!!! ahem. just kidding. sort of.
The whole thing is over here. All 300 bloggers who are participating, big cheeses as well as blog newbies, and everything in between. Well, I'm not newbie, but I'm no big cheese in the blog world, either, so I'm in between. In my group, group 9, I am following Walk Facing Traffic on March 2nd, and leading into Was Eigenes on March 3rd. Check them out.
So. What does inspire me?
Easiest answer? My kids. It may be corny, but it's true.
(Gabriel who never stops moving, unless it is to watch cartoons or read about animals, dinosaurs, aliens or monster trucks. He wants to be a scientist. Or maybe an artist. He likes to tell stories and pretend to be superheroes.)(Ivy and her love of everything pink, fairy like, princess like, or glittery, to the reluctant acceptance of her black and gray clad feminist mom. Eh, she likes what she likes. And she wants a Barbie for her birthday. I got it for her, because she's not me, and that's okay.)
They are creatively inspiring. From their demands for paintings of aliens or ant pins, to their requests for stories-- last night it was a baby pirate story, or wanting me to play guitar (badly) for them at bedtime, or wanting to make cakes and frost them with pink sparkles. Wanting to do things for my kids makes me expand my creativity. Seeing them in the world makes me think of new things. Knowing who they are and wanting them to have more out of life spurs me on to keep going, keep trying for my own dreams, because I want them to keep trying for theirs.
Aside from my kids, I find inspiration in nature, trees, animals, the sky, the ocean, science, plants. I find inspiration in old stories, kids books, mythology, fairy tales and fables. I find inspiration in my own history, my past, people I've known, people I miss. I find inspiration in movies, tv shows, music, poems. I find inspiration in other artists, both famous and not so famous. Etsy is a huge inspiration. I want to be like so many artists on Etsy. My heroes. And the many bloggers out there. Too many to list. I'm also inspired by color. I'm inspired by chance. The random choice of word or concept, smashing it up together with some other color, concept or word.
And when I am in a state like I have been lately, when I am creatively inactive (I do not support the term "creative block" or "writer's block" or any of that. It's a negative way to look at a period that is often necessary to the creative process,) I'm still inspired, even if I don't do anything with my inspiration.
Actually, I think my creative inaction is part of what inspires me. Whenever I have been in a stage of inability to create, it has always been a step towards a new era in creativity. Remarkable, really, when you think about how hard it is to be stuck like that, how painful it is to be unwillingly silent. But almost every time, the silence has led me back to my voice and my creativity.
So I'd like to give a big shout out to nothingness as my inspiration.
Even without big traumatic creative hurdles, even a quite nothingness, and emptiness of mind and space. The kind you get while staring out the window at a cafe perhaps....
Or maybe the kind when you are sitting in a car or train or bus, watching the field roll by in silence, waving dry grass in a cold breeze....
So here's to the downstroke, the indrawn breath, the negative space.
Here's to the inspiration of nothing.