Inside this issue
Art and Inspiration
A Confusion of Goals and Means?
Professional photographic artist, author and speaker working primarily in the Western US.
Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.
I recently came cross an impassioned account by a young artist boasting his recent successes and proclaiming to impart useful wisdom to up-and-coming artists. In a manner typical of immature writers seeking a shortcut to impact by way of profanity, he proclaimed that artists should not waste their time waiting for inspiration because inspiration is, by his characterisation, “bullshit.” While such puerile attitude may easily be attributed to the foolishness of adolescent bravado, established artists also are known to have expressed a similar sentiment, although usually with the intent of suggesting that inspiration is not something to wait idly for, but rather something that ensues out of doing the work.
Studies suggest that such revelations often are correlated with activity in what is known as the brain’s “default mode network,” which we can think of as what our brains do when not focused on the outside world. This also explains why creative ideas at times present themselves, seemingly out of the blue, when in the shower, or when taking a walk, or when engaged in some other activity that does not require focused attention on a specific task.