“Self-Portrait: Artist at Play“, Heidi Straube, © 2011
“It’s marvelous, marvelous! Nothing will ever be as much fun.
I’m going to photograph everything, everything!”
(Jacques-Henri Lartigue – after taking his first photograph, age six)
Yesterday I participated in a street painting workshop.
It was wonderful.
Three hours on a Saturday morning on a beautiful day in Houston. Eighty degrees, clear blue skies, coffee and kolaches. Laughing and creating with my friend, enjoying being in the space of other people who were creating too, learning something new.
Later in the afternoon, I showed a picture of my “painting” to another friend.
He laughed, saying “It looks just like a kid’s picture!”
And I laughed too. “I know, isn’t it great?”
I felt like a kid. I had had no idea what I was doing, enjoyed the process, didn’t judge the outcome…and it was totally freeing.
If you are doing the same thing every day (whether in your creative work or your life) and wondering what happened to your inspiration, try something new. Change up the routine, even if it’s going to a different place for coffee before work, listening to a new radio station on the internet, or wearing a color you don’t usually wear.
If you are feeling blocked, in the dead zone, without creative ideas or enthusiasm for life, claim and deepen your inner silence. Then also look to outside sources to nourish your soul.
We often live our lives in the same way, with the same people, and no new perspectives, support, or learning. And then we expect “inspiration” to come when we call.
Perhaps inspiration is right not to show up on command. If you were ignored, fed little, and expected to be there no matter what, would you keep on showing up?
There are many ways to feed your inspiration, and actually, what nurtures you may be totally different from someone else.
This week I realized that I needed a new inspiration “shot,” and it wasn’t going to come from my usual friends and colleagues sources. It was time to call on my outer spirit guides!
Curiosity, hunger for learning, and comradeship with kindred spirits are some of the things that feed my inspiration. So I (among other things):
* Watched a fantastic DVD, “Inspirations” by Michael Apted – Interviews with creative people talking about their creative process, work, and lives
* Looked at and read “Seasons of Light” by photographer Peter Brown, a wonderful book of images and writing
* Went to a talk at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston about Istanbul in the 16th century, learning more about Islamic art and how the miniatures reflected the culture, remembering the special time I had in Istanbul last spring, and meeting some new like-minded travelers and art lovers.
* Discovered a new photography show at the MFAH I had been unaware of, images from Heinrich Kuhn, filled with my favorite kind of photography.
* Dropped by to see some friends renovating a building, appreciating their vision and skills in creating beauty and function in a physical architectural form.
Swimming, a great cafe, and people I love enhanced the experience.
What nurtures your inspiration? What have you been neglecting?
Be good to yourself and let other sources feed you. Whether they’re new sources or old sources, make sure they are deliberate sources that you know make you alive.
Walk away from the usual, if even for an hour.
Feed and nurture your inspiration.
(“Heidi, first street painting,” Cameron Payne, © 2011)
Street Painting Workshop, taught by Cecilia Linayao Bio, sponsored by Via Colori, funded by Center for Speech and Hearing, Houston.