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Finding Your Muse

 
Inspiration isn't something that comes easily to most people, at least not on a regular basis. While, as the saying goes, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, the sad fact is that that 1% is irreducible. To create, you need to be inspired – at least for a moment.

Inspiration, for the most part, is not a solitary activity. It arises out of how we interact with our environment and with those around us. We may be inspired by a beautiful sunset to capture that exact tone of fire red, or by the thrill of the race to drive ever harder toward the winning line. The point is that we are inspired by experience, not by introspection. Inspiration arises out of doing and feeling. It does not come to us, we go to it. Some people even find a particular time or event in the course of their year 'triggers' inspiration. For some this might be the bright summer skys, but we also previously looked at finding your spark in the cold winter months.
 

In today's high-pressure world, inspiration often seems out of reach, but this is because we don't take the time to interact with and appreciate that which is around us. We pass things by as we hurry toward a proscribed destination, rather than stopping on the way. While this is inevitable, given the way our society works, we need to find ways to compensate. We need to find our Muse.
 
While it is unpredictable where that Muse may come from, the important thing is to keep searching. For example, if you are a writer and are in the doldrums, don't stop writing, but make time for other things. Take up weaving. Listen to some Dizzy Gillespie. Do charity work. The point is that the more fully you experience life, the more likely you are to find inspiration.
 
The problem is that when we recognize our own lack of creativity, we often turn inward, haunted by a lack of self-confidence. Because we cannot create, we are both introspective and afraid to reveal our failings to those around us. We enter a vicious cycle and implode, rather than opening up our minds.
 
To understand how being open to experience fosters inspiration, let’s look at an example. Park West Galleries presents Fanch Ledan as a case in point. Ledan brings a unique perspective to modern art, transforming what first appear normal scenes into surreal landscapes by subtly tweaking perspective. At the same time, he uses detail and scenes of everyday life to draw his viewer in. Fanch was trained in classical French art, but it was his extensive travels afterward that proved his Muse, allowing him to look below the comfortable scene to see the note of discord.
 

It's all too simple to take the easy path, and wallow in the mire of your own despair. Somehow, we seem to think that sitting there and quietly wringing our hands will eventually bring inspiration. It won't. Get out and experience the world, forget about seeking your Muse and you will find it. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but it will come. You will be completely surprised when you do find it, and it will take you in directions that you never contemplated. And that's the true joy.
 
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Image credit: http://wallpaperfast.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/African-Sunset-Desktop-Wallpaper.jpg and http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/picture_this/public/2011/10/06/170113-dizzy-gillespe.jpg
 
 

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