W2, #3: SEEKING INSPIRATION

Backstory: Every artist (if not every person on the planet) finds themselves in search of inspiration at some point in their career/life. In Hillman Curtis’ book, MTIV: Process, Inspiration, and Practice for the New Media Designer, this award-winning web designer and film-maker mentions the following about inspiration:

“In my experience you don’t generate ideas — you beg, borrow, and steal them. Sounds cynical. It isn’t. Ideas and inspiration can seem fleeting and frustratingly out of reach — often when you need them most. By developing the ability to see inspiration everywhere and to use that inspiration, regardless of its source, to influence your own work, you make yet another ‘invisible’ — idea/inspiration — visible.”

Challenge: React to this statement in terms of how

  • you find inspiration as a student or an ‘artist’ (in any way you can imagine)
  • how creative people you admire find inspiration around them

Length: 7+ sentences (minimum).

Hint: Because this is about creativity/inspiration, trust your instincts. See where the quotation (or part of it) takes you. This can be about school, life, being an artist, or just ‘jamming’ in any area that interests you.

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23 responses to “W2, #3: SEEKING INSPIRATION

  1. Right when I looked at this statement, I already had an idea forming in my head. Well as I’m righting this, I’m listening to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, one of my favorite bands. Now you may think, why is this kid telling me this (I know you really wouldn’t think that, but I’m just using this sentence as a way to explain your question). But, that’s just my inspiration. I’m a bass guitar player, so music is my inspiration. When I listen to music, I get inspired to write my own bass line, or just improve on the line being played. I also listen to music when I’m studying. I just don’t listen to the notes being played. I listen to the words. Listening to the words is how I get some of my best writing ideas. This helps greatly when I’m writing a paper, or studying for a test.
    My other inspiration or muse as I like to call it is skateboarding. When I skateboard I don’t pay attention to anything except for what’s in front of me. I get a lot of perspective on the present. You see, I’ve noticed that people are too focused on the future or the past. I am even a little to focused on my past and future. But, when I skateboard, I don’t think about anything except for right now. I get this free feeling when I do. This feeling usually brakes up any writer’s block I may have, or give me a really good idea on something that I could do.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Interesting point about being so engrossed in an activity that you lose sense of the pressure of the past/future. I actually think this is what great artists, athletes, writers, singers — heck, anyone who is passionate about what they do — find happening to them on a regular basis. Hold onto that sensation, whether it is on a board or elsewhere.

  2. Every artist, composer, and writer always say inspiration is all around them. The one problem is that, I am not the most creative individual.

    I wish it was as simple as looking at some image or listening to some song and being inspired to write or draw. As I sit here listening to Modest Mouse’s Fly Trapped In A Jar I wonder how anyone could create such a song. But then I read this quote and realize inspiration must really be EVERYWHERE.

    The opening sentence really says it all, that no idea can really be yours because it has to come from something you have seen or heard. I can sometimes relate to Fly Trapped in a Jar in my school life. So when I really need inspiration I go straight to my laptop and listen to music. And now as CSS plays, I also wish I could be as creative as some of their music.

    But now I realize that I am only as inspired as what I can imagine. And just as the quote says, by using everything around you for inspiration, you can make the invisible-visible.

    ***

    Mr. Long: What a cool line: “But now I realize that I am only as inspired as what I can imagine.”

  3. I love the idea of begging, borrowing, and stealing to get ideas.

    I once heard the quote that good artists borrow, better artists steal and I realized that it was completely true. Borrowing is keeping it the same, stealing it can change the meaning and the history. Inspiration doesn’t always come on its own so sometimes; you need other methods of obtaining it. Some of the greatest ideas only need a little nudge to get going where they need to go. As an artist, the strangest phrase or even a word could be the perfect thing that I need to finish my verse, chorus, or even my whole song. I love to get inspiration from random sources and just steal something I like or that I think I can redo but make it better. As a writer I’m always looking for new ideas themes and word usage and the best way to get those sometimes is to borrow them but make them your own. I think that if we never borrowed ideas the material we wrote about would get really old and boring because we never would have a new perspective. I mean if I just wrote about the same thing over and over no one would pay attention. But if I took one line someone else said and changed it to fit my personality and how I wanted to be perceived, people might take notice. I have listened to interviews with other writers and many of them say that a great way to get inspiration is to listen to what people say. That is just another form of borrowing the idea, but the person may not know that they had the idea. But on the other side, stealing an idea is only worth it if you can work with it, and change it enough to make it your own. If you just take it verbatim and make it really impersonal then stealing or borrowing isn’t really going to give you any real advantage, just an idea that you don’t really care about.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Great last line. Sums it all up beautifully and adds a clever twist. Thanks for broadening my thinking on this. (BTW: does that mean I’m ‘stealing’, ‘begging’, or ‘borrowing’ from you?)

  4. I believe Mr. Curtis was correct in his assessment of inspiration because I continuously grab my inspiration from the individuals around me as well as from my own goals in life. I’m inspired as a student when I look at college students who are so accomplished and intelligent and this inspires me to work hard so that I too can succeed in college. Also my primary inspiration comes from my family in that they do everything in their power to make sure that I am happy, healthy, and on the road to a good future. This inspires me in that if they work so hard to do all of these things for me, I owe it to them to truly do my best in everything I attempt. I also want to make my family proud because their opinion means the world to me due to the love and respect I have for all of them. Inspiration also comes to me when I think of the great opportunities I could be given if I work hard enough. These opportunities could allow me to truly make a difference and pursue a career that would in some way help people.

    However, I not only find inspiration in career and school related goals, I also find inspiration in musical theater. Musical theater and I have the same type of relationship as Student #1 has with skateboarding. Music and the arts inspire me to simply be content and this allows me to calm nerves, anger, sadness or whatever negative feelings I may have. Though I may never continue this in the long run I truly enjoy music and drama and the pure clarity and happiness it brings to my world.

    There are multiple creative individuals that I admire but my sister is definitely one of them. My sister is someone that I am very close with and she goes to an art school and is extremely creative. She grabs her inspiration from all places and truly follows the lack of guidelines in Curtis’ statement. No matter the project my sister is assigned she always makes it her own and that’s what I love. I admire the fact that every project my sister creates is uniquely her own though her inspirations may vary. Also I admire great actresses such as Hilary Swank and Julia Roberts whom have the ability to harness inspiration and make it do exactly what they want. Their ability to morph their personalities and their own selves into completely different characters is amazing to me. I feel as though they find their inspiration in the characters themselves as well as the backgrounds of these characters and then pull from their personal experiences to make the feelings and the emotions raw and real to the audience. This is a talent that they have truly mastered and their performances are remarkable.

    Those that I admire are individuals who all live by Curtis’ statement, in that they find inspiration throughout every aspect of life. This relationship allows these individuals to easily find the right type of inspiration when they truly need it.

    ***

    Mr. Long: While there are countless elements to riff off of here, I’m going to compliment you on making the connection b/w your passions and what Student #1 said. Thanks for reminding us that some of the value of using the blog is to having all of you ricochet off of each other, too. Re: your points, I must say how impressed I am re: the depth of your response and the never-ending ways you find ideas/inspiration from others. This is a gift in its own way.

  5. It’s true – every idea I get (for anything!) comes from something else. Sometimes the idea is so much like that something else that I have to change it or completely abandon it. Sometimes I’ll have an idea and then realize that it’s exactly like a movie I’d seen the day before, or a story I’d read. It’s very annoying!

    Sometimes I wish I was back earlier in time so that no one had made any movies or written any stories yet, and I’d have a limitless field of untaken ideas. But every year great movies are made, and great stories are written, and their creators did not have that field of untaken ideas. They need things to get inspiration from, and so do I. I love it when people take something old and known and use it to make something new.

    I heard of a composer who had to write a piece – he took the melodies of several well-known drinking songs and put them together to form the piece! Drinking songs! And the piece was fantastic! It was so expertly woven together, the work of a musical genius. But all it was was a bunch of beer songs.

    Other times, however, it’ll make me angry. I’ll watch the Harry Potter movies, and so many times I’ll be reminded of The Lord of the Rings, and angrily I’ll think, “That sneaky J. K. Rowling, stealing from Mr. Tolkein! He’s the real genius!” But J. K. Rowling had to get inspiration from somewhere, and so did Mr. Tolkein! I think that he just disguised and changed and worked it far better than she did.

    ***

    Mr. Long: An extremely thoughtful/creative reaction to the quotation, and it’s full of wonderful examples. Fascinating piece re: the beer songs (of all things). Your last paragraph is what stands out most to me because we will spend a good part of the school year exploring that Tolkein/Rowling concept. No, it won’t be just about The Lord of the Rings (or The Hobbit) vs. the Harry Potter series. Instead we’ll visit with someone named Joseph Campbell (go read Student #1 in the W2, #6 entry re: the “hero” to see what I mean in spirit) and a ‘mentor’ of his named Carl Jung (note: the “J” is silent so his last name is pronounced like “young” or “yooong” when it comes time to talking about him in class).

    Each of them help us see that all of these stories (including Tolkein’s LOTR series come from from an ancient time…and actually something even deeper than that.

    If you’re curious, go to Edline and look for the “Hero” link in the bottom right of your page…and follow the breadcrumbs. You’ll realize — just like Alice did as she fell down the rabbit hole — that there is a remarkable world for you/us to discover once you begin to see the connections between various hero stories (even the ones that seem entirely unique or original to us at first glance).

  6. Inspiration comes in many ways shapes and form for different people. For me inspiration can come from music or a movie or reading sometimes. This things maybe different for other people but they often inspire me. Like when i see someone playing guitar, it inspires me to play guitar. Others might be inspired in different ways. Some might be inspired by seeing a famous painting. Their ideas will be built off of what he or she saw.

    ***

    Mr. Long: An honest answer, to be sure. The challenge — for your reader — is that little detail/description exists, so they are left to ‘imagine’ on their own. While there is nothing wrong with that, this is a great opportunity for you to take your readers somewhere new in a way that only you can do. How might you expand this answer? What questions would you have if you were the reader?

  7. This is actually a really coincidental question, because yesterday, while my dad was driving me to school, somehow we got on a conversation about where inspiration comes from. My father, ever the nerd, said that it comes from “electromagnetic waves in the universe”. I am not sure if this is the actual case, but I believe that there is something in the universe that inspires everyone.

    I am a very auditory person, and the one thing that without fail, helps to focus me to think my very best is music. Every time I do my homework, I listen to music, regardless of what it is. The music doesn’t distract me, but rather ebbs and flows and massages my brain to help me think and solve. I also come up with most of my ideas when I am in bed, and am about to fall asleep. My brain just roams around in my head without any sort of leash, and often thinks of things I would have been too restricting to even imagine during the day. I’ve come up with good story ideas, themes in books, and solutions to problems in my life when I’m about to fall asleep. The hardest part is remembering of what I was thinking when I wake up in the morning.

    My mom receives great inspiration from being in the shower. I don’t mean just standing in the shower, but actually showering, because the first would be a little odd. I will ask her a question and she cannot think of the answer for it in the five hours before she showers, but once she is in the shower, it takes her five minutes to think of a great answer. It always works without fail.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Still laughing at your “don’t mean just standing in the shower” comment. And yes, amazing serendipity re: the conversation you had with your father and the quotation that kicked off this thread.

    BTW, I 100% know what you mean by waking up with only a faint glimmer of the amazing range of ideas that ran through my head during the night. If only we could hit a “record” button on our imagination!

  8. This sounds great! Call me a nerd, lol, but I love finding those connections between different movies, books, stories, etc.

    There was another step in the time line between the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and that is the Earthsea books by LeGuin. Each time you can see the similar ideas being borrowed and reworked and updated into something that the young people of that time period will enjoy.

    I see patterns in the plots of Shakespeare’s plays similar to those of recent movies and stories (though the movie makers and authors didn’t neccessarily mean to recreate them), and I loved connecting the dots in Narnia. Another fun one, though I didn’t really like this movie very much, was August Rush, a parody of Oliver Twist. The name of the character who found the orphan boy and took him in was ‘Artie,’ and that was when it hit me, lol.

    To me this subject is fascinating, and I can’t wait to get into it later this year!

    ***

    Mr. Long: Your enthusiasm is infectious! Thank you for sharing some great hints at what will be possible as we explore these ideas throughout the year. As I’ve come to discover over the years, the connections between literature and film and so much more is limitless…and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

    Let me admit this right away: I will — in some ways — forever ruin all movies for you for the rest of your life. OK, maybe I won’t ruin them, but I will make it impossible for you to watch 99% of all future movies without seeing the ‘hidden DNA’ that so many stories share. And in some ways, we just sense that something is there all along…because all these great movies/stories/books seem to share something profound that goes well beyond pop culture, popular films, famous books into the very soul of us as a human race.

    In other words, I think you’ll like what you find. And please bring up all the connections you can dream up, just like you began to tonight.

  9. I don’t really plan on discussing the validity or truth of this quote as some of the other students have. It has varying levels of truth to different people. Instead I’ll try to give this a different look, the “jock” instead of the artist/poet/writer.(excuse the labels)

    I don’t play an instument, i’m not an artist in terms of utensil to paper, and I don’t sing, this doesn’t mean I don’t get or need inspiration. I play sports every day of every week of every month of every year and that inspires me.

    Though I like to think I do a good job balancing the person I am so i am not just an athlete, but also an intellectual. I’m constantly told how passionate I am in sports and the inspiration I get everyday to try a little harder than the guy next to me come from one big deal thing. People have told me that I can’t go somewhere in my particular favorite sport. The fact that there is nothing I’d rather do than play becomes almost a moot point when this happens. I feel the need to justify and protect every morning I’ve gotten up at five to go running and every practice I’ve stayed late at working so one day, I can move on to the next level.

    So I beg those people out there who are inclined to tear down to continue to say i can’t because I can imagine no better inspiration for me.

    ***

    Mr. Long: A powerful personal reflection. And thank you for clarifying right away how you were approaching this topic.

    Obviously stereotypes and labels seem to confuse rather than clarify. It is a constant battle to say what we mean without falling prey to short-cuts as we describe others/ourselves.

  10. The fact that Curtis accepts and embraces that stealing isn’t cynical is somewhat appalling. I have always been taught that stealing is plagiarism, and it is defined as “the act of taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own.” However, I will honestly admit that I haven’t been on an honest track my entire life. I have stolen or shaped ideas to my perspective, but I haven’t copied anything word for word. Perhaps Curtis implies that if you reshape a “stolen” idea to your own liking, it would not be cynical. Regardless of the case, I think all great artists and writers have drawn inspiration or ideas from other people. That being said, they probably did “borrow” ideas from others.

    My inspiration is just my love for writing. In elementary school (I believe it was fourth or fifth grade), my English teacher assigned us a project every week: write about anything and everything we wanted to. There was no limit. It could be a sentence or a dozen pages; it could be about unicorns or leprechauns. I guess I developed my love for writing then. Writing isn’t just about words and letters and syntax; it’s about expressing yourself, sharing your ideas, and exploring your creativity. Our english teacher gave us that definition of writing indirectly, and I hooked onto it. Sometimes, when I’m angry and upset, or just feel somewhat depressed, I write. I write and purge everything out of my system. Yes, I write poetry and stories for “fun” sometimes. Yes, I am geeky and nerdy in perspective for doing it. But hey, it’s my form of communicating with the world. For me, writing is an addiction. Once you get drawn in, you can’t stop, and you keep coming back for more. I guess I’m kind of a cocaine addict when it comes to literature.

    As you can see from my past blog entries (ha ha…), my style of writing isn’t short and sweet. I simply can’t write anything interesting without being completely drawn in and overdoing it. I have a feeling this entry will be long as well, because I’m currently inspired by writing about my inspirations. How ironic.
    “Time flies when you’re having fun.” When I write, time certainly does fly. I lose track of why I’m writing, and why I’m giving so much effort for it. There are major exceptions, of course, like writing a 4000 word essay on an Aboriginal dead guy. Topics that don’t interest me don’t inspire, obviously. But once I start on something interesting, my brain opens and all my thoughts just pour into it. I can’t help it, and I can’t stop it. That is why I truly believe that writing itself is what inspires me.

    I am a musician (well, I used to be) and artist. I love music. Music is literature and poetry. It is another way to express yourself. When I’m upset, or angry, or stressed, I listen to music. It’s not the melody that really helps me. The lyrics do. As you hear the words, they help purge the emotions out of you. It’s like reading. Like you said, authors (and songwriters and artists) don’t just write stories or draw lines. They weave messages and imagery into their tales, leaving you with something to think about from a different perspective. That is what makes a story or song truly memorable and inspiring. When I moved back to Texas from Maryland, well, I was devasted. I blamed my parents, and accused them heavily, but I knew it wasn’t really their fault. I had made so many friends, and had loved them all, but just one decision from my parents destroyed everything. I moped and cried, like anyone would have. But then, my best friend in Maryland sent me a song. “My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, you never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too. Yeah, this… is my wish.” Cheesy, yes, but needless to say, it inspired me. I thought of my situation in a different perspective and embraced it. Though it may seem like nothing, inspiration had come to me from a couple of lines.

    I admire anyone and everyone who can come up with a story or song that inspires me. I believe many writers also feel this way. Admiration and inspiration are connected in a circle. People are influenced by others, and the chain continues because the creativity and inspiration never stop. That is why writing and literature will never die. Inspiration can come from many different places; from the example above, it can come from a few lines of a song, or it can be passed from person to person by means of story telling. Regardless, it is present everywhere and will only affect you if it is embraced.

    ***

    Mr. Long: My gut instinct is that the speaker was using the word “steal” in an ironic, catch-your-attention way, rather than as a literal act of theft. It also ironically acknowledges that the person didn’t create the idea from scratch. More slang than literal truth.

    BTW, I think I’d like that elementary school teacher and her writing assignment. No doubt it gave you/your classmates permission to trust your imagination over time.

    Another amazing entry from you. And it is a real pleasure being in your audience.

  11. A shout out to all music lovers who are inspired by what various bands write. even though I think the lyrics of a song are the essential part and few people really ever hear what their favorite song is about, and it is fine to be inspired by the lyrics, one problem. I can pretty confidently say that I listen to a lot more music than most people, of all kinds, I just look for music that has a purpose and most importantly that the songs obviously really mean something to the band or artist. And one thing I think is a problem with some kids our age is that some listen to music and think they are being inspired, but they take it too literally. It isn’t necessary to try to rebel and non conform and be different because Sum 41 or 50 cent said something about it. Don’t let the literal lyrics hurt who you are, interpret them to mean individuality is important and we should try to be unique. And don’t be too inspired by what I’ve written

    ***

    Mr. Long: While your ideas matter most, I must admit that I was a bit distracted by the @ of mistakes — structural/grammatical edits that need to be made — and I’d love for your future submissions (along with those by all of your classmates) to be as edit-free as possible. Ultimately, we must trust our instincts as writers, but we must also ensure that our readers are not distracted.

    BTW, I’m curious. Why do you think you listen to more music than others? It may or may not be true, but I’m curious what leads you to believe that?

    Interesting points about taking music too literally. I’m especially intrigued by this because you also said you look for music that has purpose. Help all of us (or just me) understand the difference. I believe I ‘get it’, but I’m still curious.

    Your last point about not letting the literal lyrics “hurt you” is vital. Well said!

  12. Inspiration. Even the word inspires triggers images of explosions of color and sound in random and fantastic patterns.

    As a photographer, I take the time to see what other people look past every day. I try to make something extraordinary out of anything, dull or unimportant as it may be. I want those looking at my photos to wonder what the story behind them is, so extreme close-ups or uncommonly blurred photos strike up my interest. Inspiration changes with every person. It all really depends on what you’re willing to look for, and how much time you put into searching. It doesn’t truly take creativity to get inspiration, it takes the openness to being different. At any point in time, I can be inspired by a random object. I have begun taking notes and photos to remind me of my ideas, because having a bad memory and the tendency to get ideas in strange situations proves quite a pickle.

    Recently, my inspiration has come from a CD. I know this sounds weird, but I found a CD with an hour of thunderstorms, and I realized, five minutes into the CD, that i had always done my best writing to inclement weather.

    Waiting has never been a forte of mine, but being restless in a boring place is now a positive for me, as I take the time to find something special in the room, either to write about of capture. I think this concept is the core of all inspiration. Slowing down and observing the normal show you exactly how amazing ‘the usual’ really is.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Re: your photography, I like this comment: “I want those looking at my photos to wonder what the story behind them is, so extreme close-ups or uncommonly blurred photos strike up my interest.”

    This is one of my favorite lines of all: “It doesn’t truly take creativity to get inspiration, it takes the openness to being different.” I fully agree re: “the openness” idea.

  13. I too believe Mr. Curtis’ quote was true. I personally can find inspiration from anything. I can see a pink flower and suddenly a story can form in my head, usually backwards, such as the thing I see sparks an idea where the fire gets too large to be contained and I have to write it down. Usually the story in my head forms from end to beginning. The example that first pops in my head of using anything to find inspiration ,believe it or not, is my vocab story for this week. I was sitting in my mom’s office on the twenty-sixth floor looking down at downtown Fortworth. I started thinking how much I like watching all the people pass by while I’m high above them. Im definetly one to lose myself in a good view.

    Just then I remembered the night before I had looked on edline at the new blogs and I had done none of them. I also remembered a picture on the vocab story, only one though, the one of the city and immedietly an idea formulated in my head. Whether it was a good idea or not is another story, haha. Usually where ever I am I can find at least one thing to inspire me. I realize that I am only as inspired as what my head can imagine(ha that was an example because I ‘Borrowed that from student 3 and changed like one word.)

    Everyone finds inspiration difrently. Whether it be for a story your writing or a random idea thats caught in your head. Someone I admire for instance, found inspiration by another country’s invention and the current events happening around us. Their is a product in Switzerland that you can attach to a helicopter and fly over gas compaies to check for methane gas leaks. He bought the product and changed it with his own secret modifications. Recently in the newspaper, there had been talks of gas companies/areas around them has caught fire and destroyed homes because of leaks. He used the ingenuity of anothers invention and the recent current events to start his own bussiness. Ideas may be similar, and honestly that is because they come from somewhere else. That is why authors put their ownspin on stories, to call them their own. Maybe even they change it so much, its a whole new story altogether for another generation to get inspiration from.

  14. I agree with Hillman Curtis. Many people get inspiration from other things. Artists, many, many artists copy or steal ideas from other artists’ work. For me in art class, when coming up with a sketch for the project, it takes me a long time to come up with ideas until I find an inspiration from a random source. For some reason,sometimes I must think and think till I come up with something myself because I don’t have an inspiration. I sometimes may have to abandon the idea because of its similarity with something else. I hate when sometimes, when Iam not in school, I come up with a good idea from seeing something but forgetting it Monday morning.I usually get inspired to do things by school related goals, meaning I get inspired by some other student. After I get a b and someone gets an A, I am inspired to work harder, so that I may get an A next time as well. My family’s opinions also inspire me to do great things.I admire Barack Obama for being the first African American to run for president. I really think he gets his inspiration from Martin Luther Ling Jr., who led the movement that increased the black people’s rights. Barack Obama’s speech was said to be inspired by Martin Luther King. Many people get their inspirations from something.

  15. It is quite difficult to definitely pinpoint exactly how I find inspiration – it’s almost as though inspiration stumbles upon me…at unexpected times and random moments. This may be what Curtis describes as an “invisible idea.” However, I will attempt to relay how undetectable ideas inspire my musical abilities.

    As an instrumentalist of classic orchestral and progressive bluegrass / swing music, I may be a “borrower from the past.” When I listen to (not to be confused with simply hear) a Bob Wills classic, a piece from Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois, Op. 3, or Janis belting out her prophetic lyric that “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, my creative juices begin to flow. I wonder how I can retain the basics from these masterpieces and add, delete or update these to suit what I want to express. My musical interests give me the opportunity to escape into my own private world, where no homework is due, no tests are on the horizon and no chores or other extra-curricular obligations are pending. When I am immersed in my music, I am enjoying my own utopia.

    As a student, I am inspired by national and international challenges, with the hope that we can make things better for all. In this respect, I may be a “borrower from the future”. Will China actually address, acknowledge and reconcile its lack of respect for basic human rights? Will the Middle East ever be able to move past their “civil war” (a continuation of the Crusades, in my opinion) and find peace? Will medical researchers be able to find a cure Alzheimer’s disease, (the most malicious, disease of all) and ameliorate this disease’s devastating effects on family members and patients? Will the United States be able to embrace an African American as its Commander-in-Chief? Will students from all socioeconomic backgrounds ever be given an opportunity for equally high quality education? Will bio-medical researchers be able to apply their findings from the Human Genome project and apply this knowledge to basic research in an effort to detect disease and alter negative outcomes before a patient is afflicted?

    To restate where my inspiration comes from – it comes from those who have created musical artistry AND from those of us yet to come who have the ability to improve the human condition.
    As for those creative people who I know, I believe they may find inspiration much the way I do. They take what they have experienced or read about in the past and try to tweek their rendition of inspiration. Some may find inspiration from deep inside, as if on a personal mission. Many may be just naturally inspired by simple things, like the beauty of nature or complex questions, like how do we really know that the light in the refrigerator goes dark after the refrigerator door is closed! (LOL) Others may find inspiration from events that have directly impacted their lives – either tragically or happily. They may also look ahead and ask themselves how they can do better for the next generation. However the creative people in my life find their passion, one thing is true. To act on that passion is truly inspirational.

  16. At first, I was a bit confused about the quote above. I didn’t quite grasp what Curtis was trying to say. But then I read it a few more times and I think it means that when you try hard enough, you can find inspiration everywhere, and “make yet another ‘invisible’ — idea/inspiration — visible.”

    I find inspiration in more than one place. I find it in music and books, as well as in my friends. When I’m listening to music, like I am right now, ideas just seem to come to me. Music helps me become more creative, because I’m not a very in depth person. I listen to everything including the beat and the lyrics. That’s when I can write to my fullest potential. Music sometimes helps me focus better. Surprisingly, I can finish my homework faster by having the radio or iTunes on. The same happens with a good book. When I really enjoy something I’m reading, it usually inspires me to want to write. I want to be as good a writer as the author is. Books also help me develop better writing techniques.

    My friends are the biggest inspiration to me though. One of my friends loves to write songs and sing. She has a great voice as well, and she can inspire me at times. She makes me believe anything is possible. Another one of my friends loves to write stories. Though she is very private about them, sometimes she lets me read them. Most are very good and could probably be published. All in all, inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes, you just have to open your eyes and look.

  17. Many people get inspired by what stands out whats famous at the time. They might go see Pink Floyd in concert and the next day are buying instruments and dying to play in a band. Me on the other hand I am inspired by what doesn’t stand out by small acts of kindness no one else happens to see or the person who is always not open with kindness but deep down you know they mean well.

    A great example of who inspires me is my brother. My mom always told me that her brother was her best friend all her life and is still today and since she told me that I have longed for my brother and I to be best friends and talk about everything. But my brother isn’t the most open person about certain things and it used to bother me so bad until I looked past the tough guy shield and saw he wanted what I wanted he just had a different way of showing it. And I figures this out by small acts of kindness no one saw.For example I would come home from a long weekend trip with my friend and he would run and hug me,no one was around but I was and that’s all I needed there. My brother is definayly the one I honestly espire to me like many areas bc he knows who he wants to be and he is so funny I could just sit with him and laugh till I was breathless. To me everything I said was inspiring to me. The reason it was was because instead of looking at something in a way that of just meant one thing I learned to look at my brother , my best friends, my rock as the one who inspires me to be more than what I set my mind to and to be a little different is just being me.

  18. Finding inspiration is not at all a hard thing for me. Ever since I looked at a basketball I have been inspired to play this great sport. At the young age of 5 you may find it hard to believe that I was inspired, but believe it or not… I was! Also just watching the professionals play the game and make all of it seem so easy inspires me to go and try new things to improve my skills as a basketball player. There’s also an inspiring feeling when you hear someone say that you have a lot of potential and that they can’t wait to see what you become as a basketball player, in a nutshell basically saying you are going to be a BEAST kid! Also finding inspiration when I used to watch my brother play basketball a few years ago when I had my mind set on becoming a doctor, I was greatly inspired to play basketball and be serious about it… having dreams to be in the WNBA. I do believe that inspiration is all around but you just got to find that one thing that inspires you.

    Although when most people talk about hip hop artists you may think of violence or degrading terms or just a bad invention. But most hip hop artists write about their past and the things that they have arisen from and things that have inspired them. One artist in particular is lil wayne. This young man has been thru a lot of drastic things. Watching his mother die at a young age and being inspired to provide for his daughter in the way that he has. He also finds inspiration when he goes back to his “hood” and looks at how he used to live and is thankful for the things he has now. The things that he speaks upon, he has done or has seen done so he has a lot of knowledge about those things and they inspire him to never go down that road again. Often stereotyped, rappers have a bad reputation and have been trying to prove every one wrong and do there best to stay out of trouble but a lot of times, you can take the person out of the hood but you cant take the hood out of the person.

  19. I never realized how true that this point is untill I read the statement, further proff that this is true. Only the people who first created the ideas “generated ideas”, while the people who used the same ideas later down the line just make variations of a theme.

    And now, when when I watch some movies, i’ll just see the same movie i’ve seen plenty of times before. The same is true for music, but instead of using the same basic storyline, music uses the same notes scince the classical era.

    The same can also be applied to your life in general. You may find that you’ll be having the same exact conversation that you had maybe a year or two ago. While most will still call it Deja Vu, from now on, i’m going to call it “the reuse of an idea.

  20. Wow. Such a cool thing to sink your teeth into. I definitely agree with this thought.

    I have often thought about this thought, as well as Mr. Long’s saying “it’s the same story.” I have often wandered, if they are the same story, why does each big movie, song, or book with the same story line, make millions? Well, I am still debating this, but I am pretty sure I have made up my mind. Just like how different students learn different ways, each story, movie, or song, impacts us in a slightly different way, and we learn different values, different lessons, with each story we encounter.

    In church, many people wander why pastors cover again and again the all-to-well-known stories in the Bible. I think its because each time you read it, if you are truly searching, you will see something different that impacts you, in that exact moment in life that you need that kind of inspiration.

    That leads me to how I am inspired. When I read the Bible, I am definitely inspired. I love it how I can just flip it open, not meaning to turn to one specific passage, and it speaks to me.

    Just recently, like Thursday, I have been playing around on my piano. I have a goal that by next year I will be able to read music… Hopefully that goes well. But I have written one song with 2 chords through out, along with the notes of the lyrics. I can’t tell you what my inspiration is exactly, but I know that it was written out of frustration with how much paper was wasted with these pasted elections. Then I thought on the grander scale with presidential elections and how much money was/is wasted. But for what? Popularity? Power? Satisfaction that you were apart of this world? Then I played off of that, and how corruption is killing this place, slowly. It sounds depressing, but it doesn’t sound that depressing when I play it.

    I could go on, even to the simple trashcan in a classroom with overflowing waste coming out and even falling on the floor. I would think, “oh how lucky we are to even have trash cans to hold this waste that we take advantage of, but generations to come will treasure.”

    I guess I try and like to take time to find inspiration in everything. I love looking, or hearing other people’s thoughts and how they view something, and what take inspiration from.

    I love looking at children. (not trying to sound freakish) They have such innocent lives, and see things for how/who they are. They are not polluted with thoughts of judgment or prejudice that is somehow learned in their journey from childhood to reality, though not taught.

    Shadows or unopened presents, both full of mystery, but half of the time glanced over by these human, busy eyes.

    It’s everywhere, that’s where I find it. Similar to student #1, I loose myself when I act. This is a need during acting, because you are someone else, but it’s something totally different. You don’t have to worry about your life, because in that moment, its not attached to you. You can be someone totally different, and experience life in a way you know you might never. It’s amazing.

    I have often gotten caught up in the world and all it has, and forgotten about what is, no matter what, and how simplistic it is to find inspiration in it. The subject at hand is my inspiration, what’s yours?

  21. As most of the students before have put it, they are inspired by certain things. To me anything and everything can inspire me. Not only do songs inspire me, people and the actions others do inspire me.

    I love to listen to music not for the ‘cool’ beats they have but more for the lyrics and the meanings they have. I love the song Where I Stood by Missy Higgins because of the meaning behind her words. “I don’t know what I’ve done or if I like what I’ve become,” this is relatable in everyone’s life. Everyone looks back and wonders what they just done. And looks back and sees what has become of them. I think if the person can connect with me in relatable situations I feel like I owe them the chance to open up to me with everything they have experienced. I fell like they opened up to me and it inspired me to give everything they give and more to what I love.

    I also think athletes, singers, dancers etc inspire me with their ambition. The effort they give for the things they love makes me want to try my best at what I love and what I want to do. I truly believe someone’s good actions lead to others, and a cycle continues. If someone is active in their community about something they are passionate about it makes me want to go out there and do the same. Mostly if the person can connect with me, it inspires me. If you can relate to me, I can relate to what you sing about, etc.

  22. In certain themed movies, all ideas are based on the same thing. The producers just change the way how the story goes. For example: the world coming to an end. The movies The Day After Tomorrow, The War of the Worlds, and I am Legend. They are just ideas stolen from other stories. The first time I read this I thought to myself…Wow let’s count how many times I have tried to write a story off the top of my head and then i glance over or read someone else’s story and their’s is 100 times better. They have a totally different viewpoint, but the right answer.

    So naturally, erase all my work then use an idea or “steal” and write my story based on theirs.

  23. Often when I am playing video games I have to choose a name for my characters. I try to find the best name but it is never easy. I agree with the statement “you beg, borrow, and steal them.” because you often cant find a great name by yourself and seek inspiration from friends. I also go and look at other people’s names and see if anything stands out and maybe I could incorporate it into my own. The Writer makes a good point in saying “inspiration can seem fleeting and frustratingly out of reach-often when you need them most.” because often when I try to find a good name I can’t find one. You have to just wait until something sparks an idea for the name that really stands out for you. The creative people around me just find inspiration from things happening around them and this is often a good source. The more you notice around you the more ideas you can take in and combine.

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