Wonder, amazement, passion; these are just a few things that come to mind when I see the words creativity, art, and inspiration. Oh, and did I mention hard work? There are definitely those prone towards being a “creative” as Sue put it. They’re the ones day dreaming about their projects, off in their own little world. Yet I believe it is the ones with a drive to create, more than the naturally gifted, who inspire with their art. Artists hear these phrases a lot, “I could never do something like that,” and writers hear “I could never think up something like that.” Many disagree with me, but to those comments I always say, “Yes you could! It would just take a lot of practice,” or “a lot of thinking.” With a little help self proclaimed non creative people can come up with great ideas. When it comes to ideas you just need to combine things to make something new, or start with something you know and change it or put a twist on it to make it your own. I love classical music, I also used to be in a heavy metal band where I played bass and provided screaming vocals. Now I’m trying to invent a new genre of music called Classicore by mixing Classical music with hardcore screaming vocals. If you’re brave, check out my first demo song Die To Self sometime. If you’re still not convinced that anyone can be creative, have a listen to published authors talk about it on the podcast Writing Excuses 6.1: Can Creativity be Taught?
When I went to art school I couldn’t draw worth crap. I still have a long way to go, but now I’ve had the privilege of illustrating for eBooks of writers I look up to, and working full time as a 3D and 2D artist for a software company. How did I get there? I started drawing in my sketch book for at least an hour everyday and I spent as much time as possible in the computer labs at school learning software. I made it a priority, and I practiced a lot. Did I get better right away? No! It took a long time, and I still have a long way to go, but I got better. It’s like with writing, the best advice anyone can give to an aspiring author is to tell them to write. The best way to get better is to write a lot. It’s the same with visual art. It’s the same with anything isn’t it? Again, I’m not saying there aren’t naturally talented people, but it’s the hard workers who become great. I’ve heard Michael Jordan was always there before and after everyone else, pushing himself to be great. So if you want to make creative art to inspire, you better work hard. If you want to be an artist, or a writer but you think you suck at it, cheer up! Beethoven, Stephen King, Micheal Angelo, they all used to suck at their craft too! Everyone starts somewhere, so be encouraged and take heart. It will be a lot of work, but you can get there.
Now on the point of inspiration. For me, it fuels everything. I create art because I am inspired by the art of others. I got in a band because I loved going to shows and seeing bands play music. I started to draw and paint because I loved looking at artwork. I started to write because I love to read. All these forms of artwork moved me to want to try my hand at creating them. They inspired me. I’ve been trying to make writing my priority, but with my other art I go between projects all the time depending on what I’ve been inspired by lately. When I hear a song that moves me or rocks my socks off, I get out my guitar and put chords together with words to try and do the same. When I see an amazing drawing, I get out my sketch book and spend time working lines into images that might amaze others. When I read or listen to a good story, I get the itch to entertain and inspire others the way the author did for me. I love being inspired by others’ work. It drives me to create my own. So be inspired and get out there and create something to inspire others! If you fail, keep practicing. You might have a long road ahead of you, but it will be a fun one.
If you’d like to see or hear my art, check out http://dandantheartman.blogspot.com. There are three big buttons: writing, art and music. Under writing you’ll find free podcast fiction to listen to. There are several short stories, and a novelette. This year I plan on releasing my first full podcast novel. I’m aiming for the release date 11/11/11. A big thanks to Sue for asking me to write up a little something for this great series of blog posts she’s hosting, and thank you for reading.