What’s so important about inspiration?

Creatives talk a lot about inspiration- what it is, how to keep it, where to get it, what inspires them, and so on.

But I’m not sure we’ve talked much about why it matters so much. Why is it such a necessity for creatives to search out inspiration all the time?

The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened. -Bruce Lee

I was working on some conceptual photography today and it occurred to me how limited our ability to come up with ideas can be absent inspiration and collaboration.

How many ideas for blog posts, paintings, conceptual art, drawings, poems, books, etc… could you come up with if you never left your house and didn’t engage the work of other creatives? I think there are limits to what we can come up with on our own without inspiration.

…try to always be inspired by something surprising – or to surprise yourself by always being inspired. -Questlove


Being inspired has always been a magical process for me. I’ll be watching a movie, talking with a friend, reading poetry, or a million other things and suddenly an idea comes to me. Something in that activity sparked a feeling or thought or mood that led to an idea for my next photo project, poem, or post. It happens just that fast. The idea probably would not have occurred to me without that spark.


This is why inspiration is important. Living life, being in community, and paying attention to the art and work of others is what fuels your own ideas and creativity. Without those things, your ability to generate new art and ideas is limited. I don’t believe God made us to get everything we need just within ourselves. I believe we were made to live in community and to need others. I need your gifts, your ideas, and your thoughts and you need mine.

We were kids without fathers…so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves. -Jay-Z

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