Friday, May 31, 2013

The cover for my rock album The Russell of Wings -
considered groundbreaking in its day
My good friend singer/songwriter Kara Square posted this recently on Facebook:

Alright... I'm out of juice. Hey creative people - when you run out of inspiration, do you force it or just stop...?

Judging from the many responses she received, this is obviously something that creative humans find a conundrum. I'm happy to say that I never suffer from artistic anxiety. I have fun with my ideas and I don't feel any pressure to be original or 'the best'. [I'm only competitive over food and toys.] It immediately struck me as a good topic for my blog, though, and I have gained some interesting insights.

The first human I approached was Moira, who is writing a book about me called Small White Dog. "I make myself write whether I feel like it or not," she told me. "Actually, I never feel like it. I'd rather watch television and drink coffee. It's no good fannying around waiting to be inspired. Just get on with it! Set yourself a time limit, stick to it and reward yourself afterwards."

A bit uninspiring, perhaps, but it obviously works for Moira and it could work for you. 

Me being Pam Swann summoning that elusive inspiration!
Next I spoke to two former clients, self-styled romantic novelist Pam Swann and artist Robin Snow. 

"One must be most particular about one's creative environment," Pam commented. "One can only capture that elusive element, inspiration, by working in, say, a first floor, south-facing room which overlooks a lake. One needs absolute quiet. One can be frightfully affected by the noise made by other people's children or pets." [Pam isn't a published author as yet but she hopes to finish her debut novel within a year or two.] 

Talented - yet having lots of fun!
Artist Robin Snow has a very different approach. "I just get pissed, ducky, slap a bit of paint on the canvas and see what happens." [Robin's work is currently being shown in galleries in New York and London.]

So you see, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creativity. It seems you must just find out what works for you. I'd love it if you'd share your methods for getting inspired by leaving a comment below. Have a happy and fulfilling weekend!

A Book of Empty Lines by Loveshadow (featuring myvanillaworld) 

Angel Food Cake Stuffed with 
Whipped Cream and Berries

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  1. Oh my goodness... awesome rock album cover, Tony!

    What a flattering thing to have inspired advice from the great canine philosopher! I hear your rates have skyrocketed for your Human Life Coaching services. I feel quite lucky, indeed!

    Know what I ended up doing that retched day when I lacked inspiration? I changed directions. Instead of working on a happy little ukulele song, I started writing an angry punk guitar song. It worked! New song! :)

    Thank you for your seemingly endless supply of advice, Tony. And a happy weekend to you, too!

    1. Thank you, Ms Kara, for always supporting my blog, for giving me so much happiness with your music and voice, and for your useful strategies that I put to good use with my clients.

      I've been taking a short break and spending time with food and friends, as you'll see tomorrow when I post my latest blog update.

      With love and friendship

      Tony Russell

  2. Great topic & some of your best photos to date. Best advice ever for holding on to creative ideas is to carry a small notebook to capture your inspirations, after that it's all about the re-writes and editing. Great song by LS & MVW. See you in two weeks!

    1. That's a very good tip, Mr Mark. I don't have a retentive memory but I do have an endless stream of ideas, so I don't need to jot them down. But it is a good strategy for humans - or they can dictate their ideas into a Dictaphone.

      I'm glad you liked the photos; I will be posting again tomorrow with some more colourful shots.

      With deepest affection

      Tony Russell

  3. I think creativity needs benchmarking to exist at all. If writing a book one need to read books by other authors one admire, when writing a song, one need to listen to music by other artists. So, when in difficult creative times, check out what others are doing.

    Love the photos.

    Have a splendid weekend, Tony.

    1. Thank you, Mr T, for your support and friendship. I agree that you can't create anything worthwhile unless you have read the best novels, or listened to excellent music, or watched the most innovative films etc; all of which I enjoy very much.

      My friends seem to have liked the photos for this post a lot and there are some more colourful shots in my post tomorrow, so look out for those!

      With affection and great esteem

      Tony Russell