Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspiration is specific

Inspiration is very particular — not about everything, but about some specific detail. Even if you can't put into words what an inspiration is looking for, you definitely know whether you've gotten it right or not.

This sense of clarity is one of the things that makes inspiration so valuable to creative artists. Creating something new involves stepping into a daunting realm of infinite possibilities. With so many options, how do you decide what to create? Inspiration narrows the field of possibilities. By insisting on some specifics and making those items the centerpiece of the project, inspiration makes the artist's decision-making process more manageable.

I've repeatedly compared inspiration to love, and the comparison holds here as well. When you fall in love, it's with one specific person. Everything about that person is exalted, and there's no point in asking you to consider some other person instead. Perhaps inspiration could be described as "falling in love with something that doesn't even exist yet."

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