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finding inspiration

i was sitting in on an Advanced Painting class the other day and the students were presenting their inspirations and source material for their upcoming project. one student said that he likes the idea of authenticity and virtue in his own work and preferred his inspiration to come from him rather than other artists. he was more inspired by approaches, concepts, songs, and films rather than drawings and paintings.

i found myself nodding along with him - his ideas about the creative process are similar to my own. i definitely appreciate the work of others in my field, but like him, i don't find that i take much, nor do i want to take much from them when creating my own work.

to my surprise, some members of the class were very skeptical (and very vocal) of his ideation process. they felt that he couldn't really grow artistically this way and tried to persuade him to admit that he was profoundly inspired by the art he saw.

my main form of inspiration comes from words - from songs, from novels, from disjointed phrases i've picked up over the years. i like to create work out of ideas that i expand from these phrases, out of the emotions i instill in them, that i find in myself. with these ideas i work with imagery i've also garnered from novels, or films, or nature. the phrases that i collected here were major inspirations for my thesis work.

why should i pretend that i'm inspired by things that i'm not? i think that any inspiration is valid inspiration.

i'm glad this student stood his ground, there is no one process to making, and he shouldn't have been forced to admit otherwise.

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