Creativity and Inspiration

Sometimes you need a little boost.

For me, that is rarely a “rah rah” inspirational talk.  I’ve seen and heard too many of them.  Far too often they ring hollow for me.  I know what I have to do.  It’s actually doing it that is the problem.

creativity-illo-2What usually does it for me is other people, leading by example.  Being around creative people makes me want to get started myself.  It can even be inspiration at a distance.  Right now I’m reading a great book about one of my all time favorite musical groups, Crosby, Stills and Nash.  (The book is Crosby, Stills and Nash – The Biography by Dave Zimmer).  It not only inspired me to go back to listen to some of their incredible music but it made me want to dig back into my own playing again (and again and again and again, lol).

But that’s not the only inspiration I’ve been getting recently.  I have some family and friends who are doing creative things that are giving me that push to head back to all the things I’m trying to do.

My sister-in-law Janet Hallaran has been working in fused glass for a while now.  I keep looking at her stuff in total awe.  I have no idea how she does it but they’re really cool.  Check it out at Art Glass Fusion.

I’m also being inspired by a new co-worker, Mary Kate Deal.  Mary Kate is our Parish Administrator.  Turns out she is also a talented quilt maker, knitter and bow tie maker.  Check out Patchwork Pastor.

Last, but absolutely not least is The Kid, my daughter.  A couple of months ago fate decided to crap all over her.  After absorbing the pain of that, she decided to bounce back by creating jewelry.  That’s on top of her incredible gifts as a writer and the creativity she express that way.  Her shop is AzazelandPenemue.

These aren’t the only ones inspiring me.  I listen to buskers on the sidewalks of Richmond.  There are friends who stretching their wings writing, or trying other things.  Plus I have friends who have been creative for most of their lives.  I’m inspired by my friend Tara Eastman who uses her creativity within her ministry, just the way I’m trying to do.  I’m inspired by an artist that I only know through Facebook, Liz Laribee.  She not only creates but has helped create a place in Harrisburg, PA to help people be creative.  She does a lot of different things but her work in cardboard has always blown me away (check out her work at  Whenever I pick up my guitar I think of my friend and guitar mentor Pete Avery.  I can see the big guy with one of his guitars strapped on, eyes closed and finger flying.  They inspire me, one and all.

Here’s the bottom line – I need to take the next step.  It’s not all the job of all these people to inspire me, that’s just a side effect of their creativity.  What happens next is entirely on me.  I have all kinds of tools to be creative.  I need to pick them up.  I need to try.  I need to learn from the less than successful attempts (any attempt at creativity is never a failure).  I need to make sure I keep going.

Like I said, creativity is a process of trial and error.



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