The ID, Dreams, and Inspiration: Stay Creative

Inspiration has been defined as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something.”  It has also been defined as “an experience of feeling your soul lifted,” and “being in a state of mind where everything is possible, everything is clear, and we feel at one with the universe.” Synonyms for inspiration include: encouragement, illumination, stimulation, creativity, enthusiasm, and motivation. Well now we know what the term means, now how do we actually get inspired? The answer is different for every person. If I had to create my own definition for the word, it would be something like- that which moves or touches you beyond comprehension instilling provocative thoughts in the process.

We draw inspiration from life and death, emotions, goals, and from our dreams. In order to be creative, we have to be inspired. Nothing inspires me more than other interesting, intellectual and creative people. I find my inspiration in other artists, musicians, writers, or simply friends and family members. I am inspired by beauty, by love, by pain, by happiness, and by my curiosity of the unknown. Some are inspired at the break of dawn, when the first rays of the day pierce through the darkness. Maybe this is when they take their first inspirational steps toward creativity. This is when they start to solve puzzles, in turn, solving “the world’s problems.” Caffeine also gives the vast majority of us that extra oomph to jolt us into a meaningful thought process.

When I write, I use ear plugs to block everything out. I will concentrate on my abstract ideas, imagine them, jot them down, and then flesh them out. In 2009, Amy Schroeder completed a dissertation titled Typewriters and Cooking Smells for her PhD in Philosophy. She talked about how “imagination, at its supreme instantiation, is less about the will than about a surrender to willingness; it is about the readiness to be pervaded by mystery and then the further readiness to let that mystery out into the world.” When I paint, I light a candle, put on classical or love music, and then put down what’s on my mind. I stop and think, and then I stop and think some more. When I workout, I get my game face by drawing inspiration from edgy music with hard hitting beats (and yes working out requires both inspiration and creativity).

So if you think about it, what inspires you or ignites your imagination? How do you get to that creative place? The place where you can scale mountains, run for miles, soar above the trees, and adventure to new lands or lawless territory? Many times I get inspired, develop ideas, and problem solve in my dreams. Paul C. Ray published Sir Herbert Read and English Surrealism in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism,(Vol.24, No.3, Spring 1966) which helped me make sense of this. In his white paper, Ray talks about automatism (automatic writing) and surrealism. He says “automation is the foundation stone of surrealism: it bears to surrealism the same relation as the dream to Freud’s psychoanalysis: they are both gateways to the unconscious. Just as the dream expresses, in however disguised form, the contents of the unconscious, so must automatic writing. Automatism differs from the dream only in its nature, which is verbal rather than visual.” Ray’s paper also says that “the artist, in his moments of inspiration, reaches into the deepest levels of the mind, and at that level we suppose the mind to be collective in its representations, and it is because the artist can give visible shape to these invisible fantasms that he has the power to move us deeply.” Maybe inspiration comes from the hidden recesses of the mind? Inspiration likely derives from the ID.

When I was a little girl in elementary school, I had a teacher who had the best mind jogging ideas. For the life of me, I can’t remember the teacher, however she called a particular class exercise “squiggle art.” I didn’t recall doing this art as a child until my mind danced in a conversation with my friend along these lines yesterday. So today I searched online to see what I would discover. I couldn’t believe that I don’t remember the teacher’s name, but I could remember the exact name of the creative exercise?? I found actual lesson plans online for squiggle art. The “instructional goals” of this art exercise are intended to help students “demonstrate flexible thinking,” to help them “feel more comfortable with their creativity,” and to “continue to hone their brainstorming skills.” In my sleep last night, I tapped into a dormant memory of this exercise. In my dream, there I sat- as a child with long pony tails again. I was looking at a white piece of paper with a squiggle on it, and contemplating what my picture would become. Squiggle art is basically taking a piece of paper and marking a squiggle on that paper. Using that squiggle on the paper, the artist will imagine, and then complete the picture. This exercise must have worked for me. It has made a deep impression in the archive of my mind, and has obviously inspired creativity.  

I recently had the author of the blog Thoughts on Theatre hit the like button on one of my posts. I had to take the time to check out the unknown author’s site since there was some focus on creativity.  The post 25 Ways to Be Unsuccessful Creatively (and in life) had great pointers. The author also had a couple of great quotes- one by Thomas Edison said “many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This author also asks his or her readers why they should create? Inspiration allows us to create, and as that author has said, creativity allows us to “communicate in a method stronger than words – in a language that has no boundaries.” So— my friends, continue to seek inspiration and stay creative.

Explore posts in the same categories: Articles, Authors, Creativity, Mind, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Quotes, Worthy Reads, Writers

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