Forget Inspiration

What does it mean to be inspired? Does it describe being motivated to do something? Particularly something creative? The word “inspiration” seems to annoy me these days, maybe because it scourges social media with it’s presence, or maybe because I feel like it’s commonly misused. It’s also possible that I myself misdefine what inspiration means.

I’ve always felt a drive from emotions, and credit that state of mind, rather than the event of inspiration itself. Today I see so many “inspiration” boards, often referred to as “inspo”, when people are attempting to create something. The boards are used to provide some sort of motivating factor or general direction to begin a creation, or as a guideline along that creative journey. Personally, I think a lot of that is because individuals don’t spend enough time looking at their own experiences and find what some artists call “true inspiration”. That probably sounds pretentious, but I can see a reason why that term was created. I guess from a commercial standpoint, time is never on a creative individual’s side, and when a number of people are working on the same project, it helps with keeping everyone on the same page. I can definitely see the merit there. But, what about when you find yourself lacking ideas? Do you search outwardly for a catalyst? Should you look for inspiration online, or from other artists and creatives you admire? I’ve heard that art is either copy or revolution, and if that’s the case, I’d rather aim for the latter.

What would happen if instead of asking yourself, “What inspires me?” you asked yourself ,”What am I trying to do with this?” For me, I’ve always been happier with my work when I discover a goal that motivates me in a way that I care less about perfection, and more about completion. This also helps me avoid creating works that are similar to other artists. In my opinion, it’s the only way to find originality. And for me, if it’s not mine, I don’t want my name on it. Thanks for reading.

Rizaldy Celi Jr.

American Artist

Los Angeles, CA

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