What does it mean to be inspired? According to the Oxford dictionary, it’s the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. This is especially notable when we are attempting to be creative.
It can be debated whether inspiration comes from something just popping in your head in the shower while driving or being high. Or by way of thinking and doing. For the working creative, the luxury of waiting for that big idea is something that they can rarely depend on. They have to put themselves in the position of always being turned on. Thus, they are more on the side of motivation. Meaning they have to constantly think by doing. Pencil to paper is a great way to get going. I believe it’s a good dose of spontaneous idea development and doing.
Art and creativity are fascinating because they show us the soul of humanity that has been genuinely alive for so long. Whether it’s art, music, or theater, creativity touches the very part of us that shows we are capable of coming together.
My motivation comes from the 20th century and what I consider the actual maturity of the world. If one wishes to learn how we navigate today’s issues, we can visit the 1900s. It’s all happened before. War, disease, famine, mother nature, brutal regimes, crime, racism, greed, etc. Through it all, I’ve seen parallels.
My work will, at times, visit those parallels. My influences are many, but I enjoy the art and music of the 20th century. Call it nostalgic, if you will. Artists such as Charles White, Ben Shahn, Diego Rivera, Thomas Hart Benton, and Charles Alston. Also, designers and Illustrators such as A.M. Cassandre, Milton Glaser, and Norman Rockwell.
Technology today makes the 20th century look like the dark ages. They would be correct, but I would argue that all of the above issues remain and haven’t been fixed by technology. I wouldn’t call the 20th century a simpler time, just an earlier time. Through it all, art is still a reflection of the times. Visual historical records can be both beautiful and emotionally satisfying. The saying, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like,” still holds relevance. No one can make you like anything. That is our freedom. However, you may learn something if you pursue creativity with an open mind. That is our freedom too.