Entice Inspiration, Foster Creation

Inspiration & creativity – these are the two words that make my heart tingle.

In my opinion, they are undeniably interlinked by means of inspiration being a vital catalyst for creativity – a way in which an idea can be metamorphosized into existence. One of my favourite books from 2015 is “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. In one of the chapters she writes “ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

I often find myself contemplating whether or not drawing inspiration from other artists in our field compromises our level of originality. It seems to be common practice for photographers, designers etc… to turn to social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to search for inspiration. From my experience, what ends up happening is that the work somehow starts getting reproduced in one form or another (one of the ways that trends develop). My question is, do these types of practices hinder creativity?

If something has already been done before, can it be interpreted in an original way? Do any of you have these thoughts at times?

Luckily, I had the opportunity to pose this question to Liz Gilbert herself back in 2015 at a book reading that she held in Heidelberg, Germany. I referred to a statement that she made in the book: “These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. If your work is authentic enough, believe me – it will feel original.”

Paraphrasing, her reply was that I listen to the drive inside of me to create something, even if it has been done before. She emphasised that I note the main difference: it hasn’t yet been done by me! And as long as I stay true to myself in creating it, that is what makes it authentic, which in turn makes it feel original.

I LOVE that!

At the same time, I am becoming more mindful about where I draw inspirations from. I am now making a conscious effort to veer away from just looking at other photographers’ beautiful works (also as a means to avoid emulation) and rather find other avenues to keep my mind fresh and fuel my imagination.

This frame of mind has really helped me in pursuing my creative aspirations.
What is your take on this topic?

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Alice L

I loved the book “Big Magic” so much inspiration from it.

Aida

Totally, I keep going back to it…loads of wisdom:)

Jessica

Beautifully written! Love the simplicity in the images as well

Aida

Thank you so much, Jessica!

I find the best inspiration comes from outside my industry, the more different the better.

Aida

Yes, that is what I am really starting to go for!

I love the light in this- it really brings together the whole piece. Thank you for sharing!

Aida

Thank you so much! And thanks for taking the time to read my blog post:)

Love the thoughts you had. I will have to ponder on them some.

Aida

Always happy to provide food for thought;)

Erin

I need to read Big Magic! I hear so many good things about it!

Aida

It is totally worth it, Erin! Especially if you are looking to live a creative life:)

Yes! I loved how she described inspiration being almost an entity that wants acknowledgement. I’m trying to be more conscious of this as well this year.

Aida

That’s fantastic! Nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way;)

These images look like something out of a movie!
Love this!
Such a great message too!

Aida

Thank you so much, Brittany! I truly appreciate it!

Johan

Very inspiring and also loved your photos.

Aida

I am so glad – thanks, Johan!

Emily Moore

This was a really great read! I agree, so many times it feels like things just aren’t original anymore. I like that quote about authenticity. It’s definitely something to think about! This “Big Magic” book you are reading sounds like it is really awesome — I’m going to check it out!

Aida

So glad that this post resonated with you! You can order the book from Amazon:)

The light in these images is incredible!

Aida

The sunset was truly gorgeous!

I love that you got to meet Elizabeth Gilbert! I loved that book. As a creative, there is also nothing wrong with trying a technique that you may have seen somewhere else and deciding that it isn’t for you! Or changing it in some way to make it authentic to yourself. Questioning and experimenting with authenticity shows how much value you place on this!

Aida

Absolutely! And I think that in the beginning, it is such a helpful learning tool to try out what you have already seen. And then I think comes a point where you feel ready to experiment on your own;)

Morgan

I really love this post girl

Aida

Thanks a lot, Morgan!

Morgan

Such beautiful photos!!!

Courtney Volksen

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I am going to have to check this book out! Thanks.

Aida

I totally recommend it! Hope you get some more insights!

The images are very real and pretty. I enjoyed this!

Aida

Thank you so much, Danielle!

Erin

Lovely images and beautifully written.

Aida

I appreciate it, Erin.

Jessica

“I often find myself contemplating whether or not drawing inspiration from other artists in our field compromises our level of originality.’ I’ve often thought about this myself! Great post!

Aida

Thanks, Jessica. Nice to see that you can relate.

Jenna L

Great piece of writing x thanks for sharing and love the images x

Aida

Thanks for taking the time to read it through and comment:)

I am reading her book right now! Love this post!

Aida

Super! Enjoy it!

Oh man, I’ve been meaning to read Big Magic for a while. I think I’ll go buy the audiobook right now because of you!

Aida

That’s so great! Do it, Corrie:)

Brittany slaughter

This was such a great read, and Big Magic was fantastic as well!

Aida

I appreciate it:)

A great read and love the photos as well. Makes me miss summer!

Aida

Thanks a lot, Colleen!

Beautiful images, thank you so much for sharing!

Aida

Thanks for taking the time to read it!

Elizabeth

It’s hard to to think of original ideas these days but I do try to create my mood boards and find inspiration outside of social media platforms to avoid repeating the same look another creative had.

Aida

Mood boards are the best! Love them!

Rachael

Gorgeous light! Thanks for sharing!

Aida

I appreciate it!

Great post! I like “but it hasn’t been done by me”.

Aida

Thank you!

Rox

Interesting thoughts, thank you for posting this.

Aida

My pleasure! Thanks for visiting my blog:)

I looove Liz Gilbert and really enjoyed reading your post. Very well thought of and her response was just sublime “It hasnt been done by ME!” I have a few times pondered the same as you and her response was something I usually overlook on. Thanks for sharing this!

Aida

I am so glad that you can relate, Nicole:)

Jeena Metzger

Lovely post and beautiful images!

Aida

Thank you, Jeena. I appreciate it!