Monday, March 12, 2007

how to get inspired

I’m in a rut. Is it just me or does everything seem stale at this point? The fashion magazines haven’t pointed out anything I haven’t already seen within the last five years. My music tastes have reverted back to favorite oldies—somehow the sound seems fresher than what I’d heard of late. Even my favorite cooking magazine has failed to tempt with a single recipe two months in a row. I see friends I haven’t seen in ages. They ask, “so, what’s new?” I just want to roll my eyes at them. But I don’t. I just shrug my shoulders, say, “not much,” and keep on walking.

Maybe it’s just a mid-March lull—the quiet before the storm of inspiration. But why wait for inspiration? Sometimes you gotta put the effort in. And you know what? The minute I acknowledge my lack of inspiration, I realize I haven’t really been looking for it. So where to look for it?

How to go about getting inspired:

The first thing I do is think about everything that’s inspired me over the last few seasons and throw it all out. Not literally, of course. Just clear it from the mind. This new bout of inspiration has got to be really fresh.

Next I like to think about a color or a shape. Sometimes I take a shortcut and go straight to geography. If you think of a place for inspiration, the colors and shapes will come of their own accord. Think, for example, of France, the Mediterranean, Hollywood circa 1960, the English countryside, Japan, Russia. These places conjure up so much imagery, colors, and shapes. But I’ve already been inspired by these places. I want someplace that’s new to me.

What about the Nile or the Sahara desert? What about Moroccan sun? Somewhere hot with sand and a poetic tongue. Suddenly I’m thinking of shapes and colors. I’m thinking of saturated prints, bright earthy ochres, and layers of cotton voile. I’m hearing music and language so thick with sound you can almost see it floating up into the air like a snake. I’m seeing shapes loose and fluid, tight and coiled. I’m practically tasting steamy spiced stews with couscous and anisette, fresh mint tea, and everything with honey.

This is just a start. Now I’m feeling really inspired, I could go on and on. And goodness, it wasn’t any work at all!

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