As an art minor in school, I took a nude drawing class senior year for three hours each Monday night. It was a whole lot of boobs, let me tell you right now. But every Monday at 9 PM I left that classroom absolutely inspired. I’d come home and complete all of my art homework for the week, then stay up until really weird hours just sketching and messing around with various mediums. Tuesday mornings often meant charcoal smudges across my forehead that went undetected until a roommate pointed it out.
Being in an environment that not only encouraged creativity but, in all realness, gave me a grade for it, pushed me to constantly be open to inspiration. I’d stare at people in the library and try to memorize the odd lines in their face — the shape of a unique nose, the way mouths parted just before saying something or the folds around everyone’s eyes when they smile. I’d watch ballet videos on YouTube to better understand the way bodies moved, and I’d force my friends to stand in odd poses (Ok now you two hug. Jess, can you stand on one leg, though? Mer, I need you to look more masculine).
Words inspire me too. Beautiful new words used in ways I’ve never heard before are exciting. They make me want to try a new style, take a risk, and sometimes delete everything I’ve ever written because if it’s not like this new way I’ve just “discovered” then it must be absolute garbage.
The thing with words is that they’re a bit more introspective than drawing, at least for me personally. If I’m writing something, I like to mull over sentences. I like to make sure that each line flows like the cliché of a river, babbling and bubbling over tiny pebbles until you reach the period and it’s a chance for you, the reader, to catch your internal breath and for me, the writer, to stop while I’m ahead.
Sometimes I write in a staccato beat. It’s on purpose. It’s bouncy. I’m usually making a lot of points. Good ones. Or at least I hope they’re good ones.
Both drawing and writing are visual. Concepts that once existed loosely in my mind become instantly tangible, and to that, mistakes immediately visible. You know what works, and what doesn’t, almost right away. And even when I’m sort of bored with the subject (we drew SO MANY TREES in art class) I know that I can still end up with a finished product that more than resembles — if not absolutely mimics — exactly what I intended to create in the first place…even if someone else doesn’t agree. And than in itself is inspiring.
Now what inspires you?