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Date Posted: 21:09:28 06/18/20 Thu
Author: River Acheron
Subject: (E) Where Does Inspiration Come From?
Where Does Inspiration Come From?
People often ask me, "Where do you draw inspiration from?" And I've been thinking a lot about that question. I am always tempted to answer "life", and while that's certainly true to some degree, a more apt response would be, "human nature". Since middle school, I found solace, happiness, and comfort in music, visual art-work, poetry, novels, short stories, documentaries, ancient history: the entire tapestry of humanity, from our triumphs and from our suffering. These outlets allowed me to tap into other people's minds...their very souls if we have such things. Think about it like this; how amazing are we as a species that we could get inside the mind of not only some unknown Sumerian man but an ENTIRE CULTURE'S mindset by reading The Epic of Gilgamesh that was told 4,000 years ago!!? How spellbinding is it that we can suffer along with Van Gogh when looking out the sanitarium's window along with him when viewing Starry Night? How beautiful is it that we can not only hear but also feel the brooding, haunting passion of Chopin when listening to his Nocturnes? Is that not only a form of time travel, but also a kind of telepathy as well? Shakespeare certainly understood this. Hamlet was derived from the 13th-century legend of Amleth. Macbeth was based off an account that was chronicled in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587). To say nothing of his directly historical dramas. In fact, some say that Shakespeare understood the human heart in all it's incredible facets more than anyone!
From these things and countless others, I know that's where I get my inspiration from. I'm not bragging here, but being an intellectual is almost like being an on-the-sight reporter for all of human history. I tap into the world around me, and what I see, hear, and feel moves me and gives me inspiration, motivation, and even confidence. (To say nothing of the knowledge I gain, and the emotions that springs to the surface). I suppose I have always tapped more into the macrocosm of the universe as opposed to the microcosm of the self. That of course does not mean I don't draw inspiration from my life, I do! I tend to look at my life, however, through the lens of humanity at large. When I write characters, I not only put myself into who they are, but I also allow them to speak to ME. This is where meditation before writing has helped me on more than one occasion.
Two points of conclusion:
1. To all new artists (whatever your medium is): PICK UP A BOOK! GO TO GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC AND JUST EXPLORE! TAKE A TRIP TO YOUR LOCAL MUSEUM! TAKE CLASSES THAT PIQUE YOUR INTEREST! GO TO A SYMPHONY! TRAVEL! Get yourself cultured, become worldly, and don't pigeon-hole yourself to one genre lest you wish to view the world through blinders. Hell, spend a night watching movies from the 1920's and 1930's, or listen to Tuvan throat singing from Mongolia. Go beyond your comfort zone and expand your mind. In time, you'll see that you'll create whatever artistic desire you have with ease and self-assurance, because you will have so much inspiration to tap into. And, you also may discover that you love things you never even heard of before as an added bonus :)
2. This is a big thank you to all of those who have created works of visual art, music, poetry, stories, etc. I literally mean that I am thanking EVERYONE from that unknown author who wrote The Epic of Gilgamesh to Stephen King!! From Beethoven to Metallica!! From Van Eyck to Jackson Pollack!! From Fritz Lang to Michael Bay!! From Comicality to that aspiring seventeen year old lurker who is unsure of himself yet desperately wants to try writing a story. (Do it!) And EVERYONE before and after. If it were humanly possible, I would write each of you individually a big thank you note. :) Remember this: the student film you are currently making in college, the words you are now typing out on your keyboard, whatever the medium...what you create NOW can and will have an emotional resonance with someone who will not be born for another thousand years. The moment you create anything...you are a time traveler. You shall all go down in the annals of history and you are appreciated!
May your flames burn forevermore
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