Inspiration is an interaction between time and the external, the ability to be both in flux and keep up with an idea. Sometimes it seems like an unexpected guest on a lonely night. Or a great firework lighting up the working day. Or a big wave for a surfer. It seems to come out of the blue. But can you make inspiration visit your mind systematically? Is there any special spell to conjure it up?
I would say that no-one is born a genius. It takes time, and it depends on hard work, persistence and organization.
People always ask me how I find my own inspiration. The secret, I believe. is to always know your goal – the purpose of inspiration – and the conditions you need for insight to arrive.
Let me tell you about the work of a group of psychologists in Berlin who studied the practice habits of violin students through their lives. They wanted to prove the old adage that practice makes perfect. So they divided students into 3 groups: future superstars, average musicians and those who were less than able. The psychologists asked them one question: “How many hours per day did you spend practising the violin?” It turned out all had begun playing at roughly 5 years of age with similar practice times. However, at age 8, practice times began to diverge. By age 20, the superstars had averaged more than 10,000 hours of practice each, while the least able musicians had only done 4,000 hours of practice. The same experiment was carried out among pianists. The best ones had always spent over 10,000 hours practising!
Putting in the time, I realized, is the basic groundwork. The example of the best musicians, artists and chess players showed me that perseverance is the primary accelerator on the journey to success. I was never afraid to wake in the middle of the night and take my easel in my hands, or find inspiration in everyday things. I worked non-stop.
In my opinion, art is not only the actual business of painting; it also includes visiting galleries, going to events, meeting new artists. If I hear in the news or from friends about exclusive exhibitions, I immediately pack my suitcase and go. It’s important to surround yourself with a creative atmosphere, to feel the presence of the muse through masterpieces.
In this way, I have discovered a personal formula for the creative process: perseverance + environment = inspiration.
Whenever it seems to me that thoughts about the past or everyday routines begin to absorb too much of my mind, I fill a thermos with tea and go to spend time in nature. Whether a park or a small lake, a pine forest or a nearby lawn, it quickly restores my balance, and brings me back to the right frame of mind…
Spending at least 6 hours a day in the studio, trying new techniques, mixing paints with palette-knives, playing with brushes and selecting the necessary canvases – I had no thoughts to giving up; it was my favorite activity.
I watched hundreds of videos, and read thousand pages of books in different languages! It let me enter the resource state quickly and easily. This creative flow carried me further and further. I simply disconnected from the world.
To be plain, all this is just a small part of the ‘artist’s work’, a brief history of the creative path, a small fee for each painting. But I believe that inspiration is always with me. And I want to show so much more to the world!
I love what I do and this is another accessory ingredient. Do what brings pleasure! Do what broadcasts your inner world!
Do not chase the muse, but prepare yourself to become her host.