SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

What exactly is inspiration? I found two explanations on google;

1- Inspiration is a feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something, which gives you new and creative ideas.
2- The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Inspiration is illusive. It is like a dream you want to remember in the morning after waking up. To dwell in the dream is tempting, because it removes us from the harsh reality of daily life. The more we want to hold on to the images, the sounds and the feeling, the faster it slips away. Inspiration feels much like a dream. You cannot force it, nor control it. It appears like a thunderbolt. Unexpected but clear. Much like falling in love with an idea.

“Fall in love with an idea!”, my mentor once told me. My question was, “How do you do that?”. You need to wait. But passively waiting without anticipation creates discontent. Not just wait, you need to be able to open yourself mentally up to allow it to happen. The time before inspiration hits often is a time of great restlessness. I feel depressed, with an overwhelming feeling of emptiness. I am looking for something but I don’t know what and it will not leave me alone. The waiting time before inspiration takes place is painful for me. An important part of the process, the entire creative process, is this intense waiting.

Most artists find inspiration by getting out of the studio and observing the world around them. A sketchbook is a great tool to intensify the experience. This could mean going to a brown bar and watching people, like I did.

Many women know when conception takes place. A concept is the birth of an idea. I got hit with inspiration sitting on the streets of Amsterdam. I was lucky enough to recognize it. This is not the time to talk with anybody about what it exactly looks like or how to start taking action. Remember, the process is more important than the end product. It needs to grow. It needs to be nurtured, finding fertile soil and enough nutrition to become mature... in the dark. There will be nothing to see for a long time, nobody knows how long the gestation period of an idea is.

Jacobina Oele


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