Monday, February 27, 2012

start by unplugging!


There’s no doubt that the Muse can speak to us through others. But what makes your work original is knowing which influences to use and which to tune out. It’s an interesting life these days: TV (yay!), internet, IPhones, US Weekly (double yay!), check your email, check your texts, voicemail, multi-tasking (boo!), news, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, “Like”, “Unlike”, post, delete, upload, download . . . . .repeat! This constant snowstorm of information clouds my brain. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about my inbox (I know, it’s totally obsessive!) Where does it end?! Is there an end?

In the middle if this madness, where does our Muse get a chance to speak to us? Can our inspiration sing if its voice is drowned out by all of these digital voices and influences? I mean, it’s great, this new communication, but every blessing brings its own kind of curse! How do we manage this flood without drowning in it? I guess an awareness of the problem is the first step. One thing that I have learned is that the Muse sings to us. . . . . . quietly. As artists, we need to carve out moments to unplug. With one eye on the Kardashians, the other eye on an ipad, and both ears divided between a husband, baby, and itunes, how can the voice of inspiration be heard?!

Finding our Muse doesn’t have to mean ignoring our families or not listening to husbands or embracing complete solitude. But one thing we can do is minimize the clamor just a little bit. I encourage everyone looking for inspiration to cut the wire. If we are constantly looking for inspiration from other sources (online, from TV, from music) it’s almost as if we become a kind of collector. Sewing together ideas we have processed without reflection. By doing this, we miss out on the totally unique ways we create by looking both inward and outward to the things that define our lives. I encourage directness! Engage with your world directly, without screens and speakers, at least a portion of the day and the quiet inspiration of our personal Muse will be heard with clarity.


  1. Ironing. It's the most repetitive boring activity, but I LOVE ironing. It's one of the few times a week I really get to switch off and just talk to myself and make plans and think up ideas. Like a lot of people recently I've also removed a lot of my negative sources of inspiration. I don't use Facebook or Twitter. I have closed down many forum and networking accounts. I don't watch TV unless I've recorded it. Films don't really interest me either (who can sit down for 2-3hrs undisturbed with two young babies anyway? ) I don't read fiction but devourer non-fiction and the news (i have arguements with books if I don't approve of the story so I tend to avoid fiction as it stresses me out too much :p ). I don't follow much sport or popular music. I'm actually very selective over what I spend my time looking at. Pinterest is amazing but I'm having my doubts now. It's getting very bitchy on there and I just don't like that atmosphere so I may even cull Pinterest and just focus on blogs.

  2. I'm really agreeing with all of the unplugging! I'm involved in a lot of art challenges right now, Facebook (to keep up with kids who live far away), two blogs and checking email. Right now I feel like I'm still in the "developing my drawing and painting skills" mode, so I don't mind copying others' ideas just to give my hand practice in replicating what my eyes see, but I can see that I will reach a point where I have to look at the world with my own eyes and make design decisions about how to capture the things I love in my own way. It's easy to copy someone else's work because they've made all of the decisions about what to leave out and what's important to keep in a design. I look forward to becoming free to make those decisions and to trust my own inner muse!

  3. Oh my, I'm going to print and post this in my art studio.
    You hit the nail on the head. I spend most of my time collecting ideas on Pinterest, and need to spend more time doing. Thanks SOOO much.

  4. I need to unplug so very bad!! Lately I have descovered how much I like being outside. Whether it's just stitting on the back porch reading, or walking around the yard. Thanks for reminding of my need to be in God's beauty!!