Stamp it, cut it, bake it, make it,
paint it, stick it, sew and wear it. Snap it, sketch it, pin it, write it,
play it, ply it, stop: re-write it. Try it, test it, learn it, link it, plan it, think it, pen and ink it.
Share it, give it, show it, grow it,
keep it, wrap it, pack and send it.
Everyone talks about inspiration – where theirs comes from, what they use to get inspired, whether it’s an overused term or an undervalued part of life, where it touches borders with copyright infringement and stealing…
… but as far as I’m concerned, human consciousness is one huge living entity anyway. It always has been. It just takes, now and again, one individual in the right place at the right time to stand up and put an amazing idea out there, and then other ideas will spark off of that one and other people will have their own ideas and… so on.
Everything we put out there – whether it be our skills, our talent, or even our personality or our words – is an amalgamated, processed version of everything we’ve ever put in. We absorb information (read inspiration), then we recycle it; or, maybe a better word is upcyle.
In the past this process has gone rather slowly. It went quite slowly for quite a long time, in fact; only in the last 200 years has it sped up. And the acceleration is exponential – now, with the web at our fingertips (and probably soon to be linked directly to our brains), the sharing, processing and reusing of ideas has exploded into a constantly moving, ever-evolving quasi sentient thing where if you sit still for one minute you get left behind. Lawmakers can’t keep up with it, that’s for sure. Intellectual property law has been acknowledged for centuries, albeit unnamed, but only became commonplace a few decades ago, and it and its counterparts haven’t moved fast enough to be effective in providing a good set of reactions to the changing environment.
So where do we turn for inspiration? I talked in my guest post here about turning more and more to sketches… although even this is a foggy area: with so many sketches from different sources each week, and a limited canvas, it’s inevitable that overlaps occur. What do we do, then? Should we be concerned?
I think, at least in the online scrapbooking community, that old rules should still apply and be applied: do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. Or, an it harm none, do thy will. It’s common decency, and common sense. Even though when I look around I think I see mostly people who do not live by the same values as me, I’m somehow still convinced that people willing to be part of a community act in that community with these values in mind. There are always exceptions, of course. But those people, I just keep away from.
So, again, where do we turn for inspiration? If we become too scared of breaking the rules, however fuzzy they are, that we can’t move, there’s no point in continuing. Stasis is… inhuman.
This week, Natalie of Punky Scraps picked out an image for us to be inspired by. I had a ball – in fact, such a good time making a layout from this image that I will return to it again and again as I begin to incorporate some of its elements into my own style. And it made me realise: since she’s been running Punky Scraps, Nat has always offered an inspiration image every month. They’re much more than a colour palette, more than a theme or a style. I don’t know where she gets them, but they really work for me.
big, bold and bright - I love it!
printed rainbows - thanks, Sass!
hand-drawn rainbows - thanks, Copic!
loving shadows and shading here
And so, I’ve learned something. We’ve all been told to always look outside of the box. But I’ve actually only just come to understand what this means. Like when you look up into the night sky, and you have to not look directly at a cluster of stars in order to see them all; like doing those magic eye posters; like trying to remember something so hard and then it comes to you when you're in the middle of something else entirely; well, this is the same sort of thing. So, to answer my persistent question of where we can turn for inspiration, I will say, for now, that not going in search of it is the best course of action. Just keep all of your channels open, and it will find a way in.