When is it Inspiration?

Photo credit:  Erin Blackwell

Photo credit:  Erin Blackwell

It's the middle of July, hot and humid!  Time to take a few days and regenerate. Mini-vacations are an excellent way to recharge the brain cells, the thoughts, the plans.  The luxury of an early morning coffee on the back porch with chirping birds and squawking squirrels is a balm to my soul. 

Morning must be a calming time for all the other backyard wildlife also.  The big fat groundhog waddles up from the tunnel under the fence and grazes a few feet away from the wandering neighborhood cats that visit.  Not sure how I expected them to behave but I do find it interesting to observe them acknowledge the other and then continue on their merry ways.

When is it Inspiration?

Quiet observation of the wildlife and simple things around me provides an opportunity to let my mind roam wherever it wants.  Recently, "inspiration" has been the concept bouncing around within me.  What brought me to "inspiration" is reading repeated requests/social media posts asking "who is a good photographer to get inspiration from?"

The question is "When is it inspiration and when is it copying?" 

Requests for "a good photographer to get inspiration from" fell into two categories.  First (and most repeated request), was "I've been contracted for a (specialized) photo session and I need to know how to do this. Who is a good inspiration?"

The second category was related to losing interest and not generating new ideas. "Who is a good inspiration to get me going again?"

Defining inspiration

The etymology tells us "inspire" (from the Middle-English and Old French) was "to fill the mind, heart, soul with grace;" to prompt an action. Maybe inspiration is a spiritual gift? And then there is the Old Latin root, "inspirare" - to breathe. The implication is inspiration can only come from within

Surely, one can be prompted to action by the work of another artist or photographer, but is the work inspired (coming from within) or copied?

What generates inspiration?

The artists whose work I admire are themselves inspired.  There is a distinct internal grace, or purpose, that propels their artworks.  They have a heartfelt personal "mission" that prompts them to create in a manner unique to them.

There are more thoughts floating around in my head; thoughts about being inspired to learn, being inspired to experiment, being inspired to identify one's own heartfelt personal "mission." 

I'll let them percolate for a while longer because I'm on a short vacation.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts about inspiration.  What do you think?

Vacation time

Even if it's a few days on your back porch, may you have some time to sit quietly, drink good coffee (because life is too short for bad coffee) and observe your local wildlife. Peaceful days.