This morning after I read The Muse Whisperer on Quinn McDonald’s blog I got to thinking how all creative tasks involve skills plus ideas and then about where, or how, I get my ideas. I realised that unless I’m working on something I don’t become inspired. I need to be ‘thinking with my hands’ (thanks Quinn), exploring the properties of a material, in order to generate unique ideas. Sometimes they’ll come when I’m walking the beach or working in the garden, not thinking of anything much, just noticing what is around me but usually, real inspiration comes when I’m completely engaged. Ideas come and take on a life of their own through the materials. Occasionally I’ll set out to make something and end up with something completely different because I listen to the idea . . . or is that the muse?
The other part of completing a creative task are the skills required to actually produce it. I could have the most ingenious, fantastical, original idea but without the skills to carry to it out the idea would be like a bell without a clapper.
I read once in a book about Tai Chi that there are three aspects to mastering anything; talent, teaching, and perseverance. You may have a truckload of talent and the best teacher available however if you don’t persevere you won’t master what you’re trying to learn. You can take talent or the teacher out of the equation and a level of mastery is still possible if you persevere. This applies to learning anything.
So what ever I want to learn to do, I can . . . as long as I show up and do the work . . . daily.