Inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative in a google search.
Plenty of other dictionaries define it slightly differently but I really like the above. It seems to “fit” best how I feel. But where does inspiration come from? It’s different for everyone and I can only speak to my own experiences and sources. For me, inspiration comes from several different places. I am inspired by other artists, not just photographers. I enjoy heading out to a museum because you can find new (to you) artists of all kinds. I’ve been inspired by paintings, sculptures, and every kind of art you can imagine.
Other sources include design, architecture, music, movies, and places. There are so many more. I can be inspired just walking down the street. A color could give me an idea. A car. A person.
I have my favorite artists, photographers, musicians, and authors. Two of my favorite painters are Degas and Dali. If I ever need a boost, I just grab one of the many coffee table books with their art and flip through. My biggest photography influence comes from Ansel Adams, for many reasons. He was one of the first photographers I discovered. I learned on black and white film and am still drawn to it. I also feel the need to capture the natural beauty of the world and fight for it to remain undeveloped by humans. I talked about music making me happy on my podcast episode two. I can always put on The Beatles or Alkaline Trio to get a boost of inspiration and creativity. And when I have downtime I love to read because I can imagine worlds and people in my head, usually way more detailed and better than the movie that gets made. I think reading allows us to tap into creativity, which although not inspiration directly it can lead to an idea for a project or photoshoot.
And movies. I almost forgot movies. I can’t tell you how many movies are sources of inspiration. I love Wes Anderson movies for his use of color. I loved the lighting in Nightcrawler. Although Baby Driver wasn’t a great movie, the use of music as a character was done amazingly well. Really, it’s the only reason to watch that movie.
Inspiration is literally all around us. From entertainment to places to activities. It can strike at any time.
I find most of mine in the outdoors. I love to go explore the world, either on foot by hiking or traveling to new places. I could go back to Hawaii over and over and I would find something new every time. A new sunset. A new location. A new angle. I could never tire of the shooting the ocean. I have watercolor images in my head, I need to start painting again to get them out.
It’s important to keep trying new places and things. You never know what will inspire you. Maybe you try a new restaurant in town and the flavors help create your next work of art. Maybe a new city gets your juices flowing.