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This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.
Inspiration is a critical aspect of our creativity, it has helped us express ourselves and create some of the most important pieces of art in human history, however, inspiration has also been reduced to cheesy quotes that often get confused with motivation. Inspiration and motivation are different things. Let’s talk about it.
In a previous video, we talked about motivation, how to reduce friction and make time for your craft. But in this video, I’d like to talk about inspiration, we all need it and we all can experience it in different ways, ways that perhaps we’re not fully aware of.
There is a balance between inspiration and motivation, and we need both. Let’s talk about some sources of inspiration, and how to get yourself inspired to keep going.
Inspiration 101: The Basics
Every creative person knows what it feels like to be in a slump, with no creativity, no inspiration or motivation to do anything. It happens a lot more often than we would like to admit.
But at the same time, I think most people know what it feels like to be a kid or a teenager and watch your favourite skateboarding video or snowboarding video, or watch a match of your favourite sports team, hockey, soccer, football, or any sort of activity that can potentially inspire you, you name it.
And then right after that, somehow we immediately feel inspired and we want to go out there and do the thing. Not later, not eventually, NOW, RIGHT NOW.
Definition of Inspiration:
"Inspiration is something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create: a force or influence that inspires someone."
And this is really the core of the inspiration argument, we grow up, we get used to life as an adult, responsibilities, families, obligations, I have them, you have them, everybody does.
Suddenly, we don’t really care about watching Tony Hawk do the 900 anymore or watch Wayne Gretzky do a master play of the game anymore, and if we do, it’s not the same. We have changed.
We haven’t lost the ability to get inspired, it’s more like it's buried under all these responsibilities that we sort of forget about it. But the good news is that it still exists, we just have to learn how to spark it again.
Motivation 101: The Basics
In my motivation video, I talk about how sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated, and most of the time the external factors are the things that get in the way. Books like The Motivation Myth have helped me quite a bit in this regard.
It’s a bit hard to want to go out and shoot when is -30 degrees Celsius outside, or when your 9-5 is killing your soul, or when you have a family with kids and pets and lots of responsibilities. The good thing is that motivation is a bit more technical than inspiration. It can be solved by making a plan and sticking to it.
In another video we talk about the book Make Time: How To Focus On What Matters Every Day, how you making a schedule can be beneficial and how you should really make time for your hobby, make time for what you love.
And a lot of people think that because they are not a professional photographer or filmmaker, then making time for their craft is not a priority, it can be postponed and postponed until you die basically.
But let me be very clear, it doesn’t have to be your job or profession for you to feel like you need to make time and do it. If it makes you happy, then You should do it. This is what feeds your soul.
The key is to remove friction, eliminate or modify the things that get in the way, make a plan, dedicate time to your craft and stick to it. You will get results that way.
Sources Of Inspiration
So now that we know that we can spark our inspiration again, that we haven’t lost the ability to be inspired, and thought about our motivation habits, made a plan, made time for our craft and tried to remove friction and obstacles, then we can actually talk about potential sources of inspiration.
For me, it feels a little easier to tackle this, because I know what I want, I know what I like, what inspires me, and what motivates me, but that might not be the case for you, So like always, I encourage self-exploration, try different things, until you arrive at what you love.
Go to that art exhibition you heard it's in town, but know nothing about or a museum with a special theme or limited-time event. Try different types of photography and styles as well.
Like I have mentioned before, there’s no amount of money that you can ever pay me to do wedding photography, but perhaps that’s what you like, perhaps it makes you happy.
In my case, Cinema is what really inspires me, but slowly over time I started to like art in general, paintings, sculptures and my most recent source of inspiration is some of the best photographers in the history of the craft.
The best photographers, filmmakers and artists of all time are my main source of inspiration. And there are a lot of videos and essays of some of the most influential artists on YouTube. Lots of articles and general information.
And that is important, the more information and opinions out there the better, Those are great, go check them out, But I personally don’t do that, I rather hear from the actual person. And obviously, that is not always possible, some of the best are no longer with us anymore, unfortunately, their time has ended.
But places like masterclass.com have great insights into some of the best artists alive. Hearing about the craft from some of the best directors in cinema Like Scorcese and Herzog, and hearing about storytelling from one of the best writers in history like Aaron Sorkin, or the tone and mood of a film score from one of the best composers in history like Hans Zimmer and an iconic photographer and artist like Annie Leibovitz.
Obviously not sponsored, masterclass.com is just one option of many options. There’s also lots of free info and videos out there. For example:
Hearing from Fan Ho himself on YouTube documentaries, as he describes the feeling of shooting black over colour, or watching Akira Kurosawa describe his relationship with cinema, and how the Japanese films differed from the Hollywood machine.
There are tons of really influential artists, and I will make dedicated videos about them in the future. Including my favourite films, directors and photographers of all time.
I recently discovered the work of Gordon Parks, and also the work of Ernst Haas... these are powerful photographs, powerful sources of inspiration. Photography books are also a great way to see new things and learn about influential photographers, although these can be hard to find, and expensive.
The point is, that there are countless sources of inspiration, and during that discovery & exploration process, you might find the thing that really speaks to you, and inspires you.
So that’s the difference between inspiration and motivation, and hopefully, this can help you get fired up and give you a way to get yourself inspired and keep going.
You can watch the whole piece right here: