If there’s one question every creative person dreads to hear, it’s “Where do you draw inspiration from?” It’s the most uninspired thing to ask, the answer always being…
…broken down to “From everything, really!”
Like here, you see a huge moodboard for a graphic novel kind of story I’m working on.
Just for the record: I had to climb the stairs to our rooftop terrace to make this shot for work!
And what work exactly? Well, it’s not a comic, not a novel, it’s like the Facebook status of some people: “Complicated”.
But let’s stay put: What does this moodboard tell us in terms of my inspiration source?
This moodboard comprises fashion shoot pages I’ve torn out of long-gone fashion magazines; a bottle of bubbly I can’t force myself to finally empty (it’s TOO PRETTY!); three of my favourite old fairy-tale books with dreamy and dark illustrations; a labyrinth toy from my childhood; a diamond ring; a magic wand (yes, it’s Lucius Malfoy’s – I adore snakes and emerald green); torn bits of printed ads; a Berlin guide; a postcard of an inked Lena-Hoschek-Rockabella in a swish wedding dress; and pages from fashion and jewellery lookbooks. So what does it tell you?
I’m not generally inspired by fashion. Or by fairy tales. Or by champagne!
This moodboard doesn’t even feature my favourite artists (Mucha, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Rafael, the Pre-Rafaelites, Vrubel…) or my favourite writers (Bradbury, Chekhov, Saltykov-Tshedrin, Jerome, Durrell(s), Poe…)! It’s simply one facet of how I see the world in the particular case of creating a particular piece of writing and illustration!
And as I was writing this, notorious interwebz magic happened.
Like two weeks ago, the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge struck me by surprise. They said, show us The World Through Your Eyes.
It’s as global as the inspiration thing. Really, everything I post here is The World Through My Eyes!
Because this is what every artist does, what every single creative person does.
The world is our inspiration, be it people or plants, situations or seasons, tragedies or Tumblr-reposts.
Whenever you look for inspiration, whenever you research something for art you are about to create, you take it in and then, hopefully, you share it with the world – seen with your eyes, told your way.
My hope is that somebody, someday will take my pictures, write down phrases form my writing and then put them on their moodboard and be inspired. Inspired to do small things. Inspired to accomplish great things. Inspired to see them with their eyes.
Don’t ask creative people what inspires them generally. Ask them what they hope to be remembered for.