Monday, March 14, 2011


The first thing people ask me is where do I find inspiration. My typical answer is everywhere. But today, it occurred to me, that to a person who maybe doesn't have an artist's mind, this answer may not make sense. So I thought about it. I dug deeper for the answer to that question.

Yes, I do find inspiration everywhere, but that's because I look for it.

I don't mean that I go out of my way, but I've noticed that a lot of artists, writers, actors--basically anyone in the arts--are of the quieter variety. To the outside this makes us seem shy, and many of us are, but just because we're not speaking, doesn't mean that we're not paying attention.

A few nights ago was a good example. I was at a party (a situation that I feel entirely out of sorts with) and though I probably said fewer than two words, I learned more about the people attending then I think they learned about each other. I listened to their conversations, the careful back and forth that reveals everything and nothing. I watched their mannerisms, the subtle body language. I observed every nuance from they walked, to the dialect in their voice and the way they stood. I filed these bits of information in my brain, to be used at a later time. Who knows, maybe party-goer A is my new hero.

When I go somewhere, I find that I take in every detail. My brain memorizes the smells, the sights, the lines of building architecture, the taste of food or drink. I break these down into elements and somehow they work their way into my worlds.

Another example was when I was hiking yesterday during the fall As I traipsed through the woods, my brain flashed to a scene that I hadn't yet written. It was as clear to me as a memory--as though I knew those woods and that scene happened to me. And I realized I was seeing the woods not through my own eyes, but that of my characters. I went home and jotted down the scene. It will be in my current work in progress.

So you see, inspiration does come from everywhere. But that's only because as an artist, I view the world very differently. Some might say strangely, but it all makes sense when I write it down.

1 comment:

Nerine Dorman said...

I had a really odd one. I remembered a dream my mother had had of me, something about how witches can send their souls into animals... which got me thinking about a girl child who becomes a pawn between warring people. But she spoke to animals and I was wondering what her critter would be... and I looked out the train window just as a crow was looking down from the branches of a tree. And I somehow know that crow was looking at me.