Article courtesy of gringrimaceandsqueak
I am writing this because I am up. I didn't want to be up, was in fact quite definite on the subject, but I was outvoted. I never considered myself to be a democracy, but apparently, if my 'self' and my brain are at odds, the body gets the deciding vote. The process went something like this...
me 'it's nice here in bed, warm, cosy...there's a duvet, and everything'
me 'I didn't hear that'
brain 'I have an idea :)'
me 'Am not in, come back later'
body 'What was that?'
me 'Nothing, now will you lot quieten down, some of us are trying to sleep here'
brain reaching for funfair 'on' switch 'Ta-Dah!'
body 'that's exciting :)'
me 'sigh. I'll put the kettle on, then, shall I?'
Whilst the other two were amusing themselves, I got to thinking about inspiration. Turns out the word means, literally, 'breathed upon'. Does this mean it's catching? Would certainly explain artists' colonies...
It used to be thought that inspiration came directly from the gods. In which case, the fact it only happens to me at two in the morning proves they do indeed have a sense of humour. Stephen King said that artists and writers are the only truly accepted mediums of our time, summing up for me the distinct feeling when I'm working on something really good, that I'm merely translating something that is already there- the idea comes not from me, but through me.
But the whole thing is infinitely more complex than that, isn't it? How many times have you sat down to do something, having got out everything you needed, only to find yourself ending up with something completely different? You think you've got the idea fixed, only to watch it turn into something else in your hands. I often open my sketchbook with the intention of working on a particular creature only to discover that they are out, or that I can't see them for the other thing jumping up and down in front yelling 'me, me ,me!'
Or, better yet, you get a partial idea – a tantalising glimpse of something. Just enough to have you set off barking after it, but not nearly enough to do something with. That leaves you with the painstaking job of reconstructing the idea from the bits you have, a process more akin to archaeology than art.
Which is why, when I used to do fairs, every time someone would come up to watch me draw and announce 'You're so lucky being able to do that, it must be lovely', I would give them such a look.....:)
the beardless one.
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