Art Inspires the Curious Minds / 100% Acrylic ...

Art Inspires the Curious Minds / 100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54792.P1.L1.CC / SML (Photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

January 31st is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day. In last year’s post I encouraged you to listen & look. This year I am promoting consideration of what supports creativity.

It was my pleasure to take part in the January 14, 2011 #ideachat hosted by Angela Dunn where the idea of spaces that inspire creativity was discussed.  It was very evident that every person is unique in what they find inspires creativity. Nature, openness to the process, and music did seemed to be recurring themes.

How do you inspire yourself?

There is no single way to inspire everyone in every situation. I will use my husband and myself to illustrate the point. We both enjoy spending time walking on beaches, taking trails in parks, and visiting art museums. The music that fills our home comes from many styles, genres, periods, and instruments. While I can’t say our musical tastes are the same, they complement and inform the other person’s listening. My husband and I often find deadlines serve as great inspirations to complete our creative projects and often to begin a creative process. The “for whom” or “for what purpose” creates the boundaries (or limits) for our creativity. Knowing the limits seems to spur the process of both of us. But from here, we diverge in our needs.

My hubby needs his surrounds sparse and clean when he creates. I thrive on spreading everything out around me.

Hearing a great piece from the past as if it were new, inspires my husband to see what he can create using those same 12 notes in the pieces he composes. Hearing a great piece from the past challenges me to share an emotion, a process, or a theme in my work.

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher C...

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We both have interest outside of music that support our creativity. I enjoy home decorating and gardening. My husband enjoys photography and painting. We both enjoy reading. There are tons of books on creativity. One of my favorites is “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron. But, it is more than books on creativity that inspire us. I have had many posts inspired by books I have read. All these experiences and more inform our creativity.

How do you provide inspiration to those around you? While your type of work and clientele will greatly affect how you provide creative opportunities, here are some of ours.

Provide opportunities to create. – Allowing input on projects and choices can be a basic start, Depending on the situation you may be able to provide a lot more room for creativity. Remember, just because something has always been done a particular way doesn’t mean it is the only way of the best way.

Ask and observe.  – Ask them what inspires them. This may inform which opportunities to provide for which people. Observe what seems to work for them. Provide more of what works.

Support the process. – Remembering creativity is a process, that creativity takes practice, will help you with this one.  Encouragement, feedback, and time are needed for some people  to be creative. For some it takes repeated use of the creative process to become creative, to trust the process.

Enrich the environment. – It may be beautiful art work, being in nature, a response to a performance, music. Think of all the senses. What does “x” feel, touch, taste, smell, sound like?

That’s what we both do in our work. What do you do? Please share it in the comments below.

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