Where Do You Go for Inspiration?
If your life is anything like mine, you spend a lot of time online. I visit dozens of websites daily to shop, surf, and work. Practically anything I want to know is there waiting for me.
Personally, I like it. The Internet is the definition of immediate gratification. I can look up the 2014 Oscar winners, find the location of the nearest Thai restaurant, and buy a new lens – all in between sips of French Roast from a paper cup.
But where do I go to jumpstart a creative project? Pinterest? No, I don’t. Well, I mean unless the endeavor is a clever way to reorganize the hall closet. But in this case, I’m talking art. And in those situations, when I want to feed my creative side, I reach for a book.
A book? Yes, and I’ll tell you why. Because it took me a while to figure this out.
I have a small library of photography titles that range from Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs & Writings to Creative Flash Photography. When I’m thinking about a new project, I pull one of these titles from my library, sit in a comfortable chair, and put my feet up.
Flipping through the pages of any of these selections is like a meditation. And after spending some time with these artists, ideas begin to take shape—ideas that had been previously shut out because of my day to day activities.
You see, what I figured out was this: my frame of mind is different when I sit down with a book. The daily noise recedes to the background, and a window opens to let fresh air in.
For all that I love about the computer – and mobile devices too – I’ve learned that they are associated with the busy, move quickly, get things done aspect of my consciousness. And a good way to silence that noise is with the calming recipe of a book, a reading lamp, and a comfortable chair. Then I go from consumer to creator, worker to artist.
Inspiration is a funny thing. You have to be able to receive it. And browsing through a book helps me reach that frame of mind.
Derrick Story is the photography evangelist for Rocky Nook Publishing.