Art Works Blog

Inspiration is...

For writer and theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, inspiration "is a tool like blood, or breath." For architect Jeanne Gang inspiration "comes from just reading about a subject and where the mind starts to take you." In the new issue of NEA Arts find out what else Joseph, Gang, and a host of other artists had to say about inspiration. And keep reading below to find out how our Facebook fans and Twitter followers answered the prompt "Inspiration is... " Don't forget to let us know what inspiration means to you!
Inspiration is the impetus for new creation.  -- Devin H.
[Inspiration is] a spirited movement forward! -- Jean F.
Inspiration means the germ of an idea that takes hold through our senses, whether it be from a passing image, a familiar scent, or even a memory, suppresses through the years. This idea then grows and takes a physical hold of our thinking, directing our ideas to broaden the original inspiration. When critical mass has been reached, and the inspiration has turned into motion, then creation is the only egress; for what inspires us IS us, and needs to be released if we are to grow. -- Allan R.
Inspiration is that precious treasure we all hold within and can't wait to share it with the world. -- Natalia M.
To me inspiration means providing hope. -- Srikanth K.
[Inspiration] comes in a flash like a thought in the shower! or like a slow drum beat that gradually climbs; it echoes through the chambers of your mind in an ever building push through time, to find meaning in life that defines essence. -- Pamela B.
Inspiration drives you to action, to create beauty and connection that touch people's lives. And it's that moment when we are connected to our most authentic selves. -- Tiffany S.
[Inspiration is] that AHA! Moment and then I promptly charge off in another direction because that is the way inspiration leads me. If I can "see" it all at once, I am lost. -- Anne Jenkins Art Gallery
For me inspiration is a moment of pure clarity as fleeting as they are ecstatic, where the taters of thought on the edges of my conscience reassemble into something resembling a short movie clip. I quite literally watch what my imagination has created. This occurs most often in the transitions between going to sleep, waking up, in a dream, and oftentimes during a day dream. The visions are both vivid and ethereal at the same time, as if the objects I'm looking at are not quite solid, and behave in ways that sometimes are impossible in the real world. As a child I would often wander away in day dreams only to be jolted back to full consciousness with another student saying something like, "HEY! Stop staring at me." -- William S.
Inspiration comes at the moment when the clouds clear from my mind and I see things anew and whole. -- Alec M.
Inspiration is most often a process rather than a single event. As with the breath, the inhalation requires an exhalation, then repeat. In the arts, for example, this can manifest in a call-and-response between new material and its application (how do I work with this?), or between familiar material and the artist (how can I change the way I've been relating to this?), or even between collaborating artists (how do we work together?) But it comes down to: problem in, solutions out, and repeat. -- Katie R.
[Inspiration is] sweat. -- Steven D.
Inspiration is seeing the awe on a child's facet he first time he sets foot in an art gallery and is mesmerized by the art work. It's seeing the magical moment when a child is drawn in by the music of a symphony orchestra. It's watching people get lost in the creation process, whether painting, dancing, singing, or acting. Inspiration is the fuel that gives life meaning. -- Kim B.
Inspiration is that moment when the student realizes this gift has been inside them their entire life and now they can't wait a moment longer to share that gift. -- William W.
Inspiration means the torch of passiontomycraft never fades. -- Thabo M.
Inspiration is the moment when your desire to make something finally overwhelms your fear of making something bad. -- Laura C.

Inspiration is to start a conversation and to let others finish it; with words, with actions, with art. -- @ummamuseum

Elaine Scarry's "On Beauty and Being Just" qualifies beauty as necessarily inspirational--though not all that inspires is beautiful. -- @TheaRodgers

It is the spark that lights the fire in my soul. -- @joannapayoyo

“…flashes of genius (that we're all capable of experiencing).” –- @NicolausWriting


Add new comment