Few words on inspiration

Pablo Picasso once said, “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. We can all say a lot about inspiration, yet we often struggle to pinpoint where it comes from, how to keep it flowing, and where to look for it if it’s lost. Despite it being a common thread for all of us creative types, we all have a different relationship with inspiration, and how to deal with a lack thereof.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned early on in my creative education was to stop wasting my time looking for inspiration, and to just start drawing; even if that meant doodling silly things on the back of my notebook, or defacing a fashion magazine. Even now, almost two decades later, that simple practice is still an integral part of my design process, and a great tool to help me keep creative block at bay. So rather than spending countless hours searching for that elusive spark, I give it the space and time to come and find me.

Frustratingly, there’s no sure-fire ritual to summon creativity, or guaranteed tonic which will repel the blankness of a burned-out mind. From my experience it’s always better to be proactive and endeavour to prevent a situation of creative drought, rather than to spend hours desperately seeking a cure while flicking through inspirational posts. Creative block, when combined with the accompanying frustration and likely fragile state of mind, can lead to an ugly compare-and-despair syndrome which only makes things worse.

As inspiration isn’t born in a vacuum, I have expanded on the lesson I learned so many years ago, and that is to go out, wander, taste, listen, explore, and experience. And that means lifting your butt off your seat and venturing out of the house! Peel your eyes from the screen, go and see art exhibitions or films, visit shops to seek books and objects that speak to you, taste new foods, get a coffee in your favourite place (or somewhere new), go to a park, listen to music, or people who are passionate about what they do. Another great idea is to pick up a new hobby, something which will reduce you to a total beginner and force you out of your creative comfort zone; it’s not only refreshing, but shows you interesting new perspectives, and more importantly, your own potential.

©JOANNA KOSINSKA 2019