Inspiration is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but is this really true?
I have been a devotee and believer of the slogan "Inspiration is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” but after many years I’ve beginning to change my mind.no longer think that is just hard work that can produce great things. There is more to creation than pure sweat and tears, if fact a lot more.
Plenty of mediocre work have been created with sweat and tears, they can be worse than mediocre lazy work because they can fool you. “Oh my God they worked so hard producing this it has to be good” but they will not withstand the test of time. Yes, there is such thing as inspiration but that is a difficult concept to measure and verify. Because there are simply no tangible criteria to evaluate inspiration.
Inspiration, whatever that is a combination of so many things, some obvious ones, others are more unspeakable. Inspiration is nonsensical by nature and that is its value and power, for mystery is what fuels our interest.
Inspiration is what connect us to something special and makes us feel something. It transforms us and make our lives better in some way. Inspiration is what we don't understand but is there. We get there by accident, hard work, study, meticulous analysis, and calculated geometry and small miracles. It is almost like we must provide all the right ingredients and hope that inspiration just hit us like a lightening. The right mood is necessary. I notice that when I am feeling energetic, well and alert, it is much easier to have ideas and to bring them to life.
It takes a lot of energy to create new projects that are of any value. So, I put much emphasis in working out, feeling strong, doing yoga sleeping well and all the other good things we need to do to feel well. If I am waking into the studio feeling tired, is the sure recipe to crappy work. Some people get inspired by a big messy bench, not always the case with me, sometimes.
Sometimes I spend hours cleaning and organizing the shop. I go to great lengths to find the right places to put my tools. I organize them as if I were creating something of beauty, like a design or an exhibit. By paying close attention to my tools, especially the new ones, I end up learning better ways to use them.
All of this will facilitate the creation of new pieces and I believe these steps are all imprinted in the work. Maybe someone will perceive that as inspiration but in the end is just order and Feng Shui. But we must be careful not to be too neat, that too can be a distraction.
Beauty come to us in our most pure and reflective moments, or we are awarded it by pure and random accidents. Sometimes we induce these accidents. Sometimes a crazy messy bench will do it. These are the kind of moments when you just let go. Take a big chance and just do that cut, go a little deeper and take chances, risk screwing it all up but get lucky in the end. That too has its place. Unexpected results sometimes are filled with life and energy. People perceived that as inspiration, errors are a mark of being human.
Yes. Inspiration does exist but it does in a very ethereal and surreal universe. Inspiration is elusive, and not something you can touch or retain. It must be cultivated with a lot of love, and we need to provide the right environment and nutrients so it can materialize. Hard work is simply hard work. Inspiration is something else.