Well here’s a pretty sizeable topic.
When talking about inspiration as a whole it’s the equivalent of talking about the entire scope universe. The entire scope of the universe and in detail facts about every single component thereof. As a great man once wrote; “Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is…” This is pretty much pittance in comparison to the scope of human imagination. That in mind, you’d think it’s probably best not to get lost in the vast labyrinth of any one persons mind and yet we do. I know a lot of people would disagree with me at this point, raising the banner of ‘not everyone has an imagination.’ Completely wrong. Everyone has an imagination and is inspired day by day in a variety of ways they don’t even realise. At this point these people might add ‘…like you’ to the end of their banners. True, this may be closer to the truth but still a good few parsecs from bullseye.
The point is that everyone is inspired in different ways. As a writer I am inspired constantly (sometimes at the most inopportune times) and can’t look at something without dreaming up some wild tale about it in the back of my mind.
I would imagine film makers see the world through different camera angles, Artists see the world as they would paint it, Musicians see it as they would hear it. Even scientists (especially scientists, in fact) see the potential of everything they look at through the perspective of their individual field. I can’t argue that some people have more difficulty getting in touch with their creative side, unable to see anything other than the world as it is for the most part. For this I would have to blame the general world we live in. With the news constantly barraging us with all of the evils in the world and repetitive routines blunting our senses it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing much more to think about. The fact, I would say, is that imagination, in whatever form it comes in, is the answer to the very thing that would stop us dreaming. Babies and children don’t seem to have a problem with the world around them and they have very open minds, imagination most artists (in whatever form) would dream of. You might say it’s because they don’t know any better but that’s the very point, they don’t have any of these issues weighing them down, nothing depressing them and nothing making them feel guilty when they dare to take pleasure in what they imagine.
Well that got pretty philosophical fast.
So what makes good inspiration. As I said before this is a vast topic and is different for everyone, depending on personal tastes. Personally I find the bulk of my own inspiration comes simply from pictures, music and travelling.
From these three aspects respectively I can build an image in my mind, give it an atmosphere and then make it real from my own experiences. There are plenty of times where I have spent literately hours sifting through images on Google relevant to whatever I’m writing while listening to some ambient electronica and reminiscing about my various exploits away from home. Suddenly, when I go back to actually write something my mind has created a living, breathing world that I simply have to describe rather than actively dream up. I grant you sleep deprivation generally helps with the process but isn’t that true for all the arts? (Seriously, this is a thing http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=sleep-deprivation-amps-up-brain)
Juno Reactor never fails to inspire me.
So, to wrap up, is inspiration the same for everyone? No. I don’t think I could have been more wrong if I had said anything else. Inspiration is every bit of it is as subjective as each individuals own view on the world. Even the people who feel they haven’t got any imagination at all, can’t be inspired by anything. Just think to yourself next time something catches your eye in the street, any time you think you see something. Just ask yourself ‘what did I think that was?’ and thus a world of possibilities is opened up. Failing that you can always go get drunk and pass out in a field like that same great man.
Just don’t forget your towel and remember not to panic…