Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Is Inspiration Only for Amateurs?

Recently, I tuned in late on a television morning show during a time when the famous realist artist, Chuck Close, was speaking. He talked about his work which he has created using a wheel chair since a seizure event in 1988 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. During his talk, Close said that "inspiration is only for amateurs." I believe he was making the point that professionals work day after day on their creations never waiting for inspiration. That kind of determination and work ethic has kept Close going as an artist who since the life-changing "event" now paints with a brush strapped to his wrist. A person with less strength and determination might have given up. Chuck Close did not.

"Inspiration is only for amateurs" is a statement that intrigued me. Since that day, I've thought about it over and over. Do creative people, like artists and writers, need a determined work ethic more than they need inspiration?

What is inspiration anyway? For me, it's a revelation that causes change of some kind. Perhaps it's a change in the way of thinking. Perhaps it's a change in life direction. Perhaps it is something more intangible.

"Mountain Flower Inspiration" photo copyright MMSikes
Perhaps it's connected to the magic amulet for success. Is that possible?

While there is no substitute for dedicated work ethic, I believe we all need inspiration. Some more than others.

And they aren't all amateurs.

Thank you, Chuck Close, for making me think. Thank you for making me consider what is inspiration and who needs it.

We all do...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is food for thought. If only the professionals work at it day after day, guess I'm just an amateur then.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

I don't think that's true, but maybe I'm deceiving myself...Or maybe we are professionals on the Internet...?

Gail said...

Words for thought.

Luanne G. Smith said...

There's a lot of truth in what he says. You can't hope to write multiple novels if you only sit down to write when inspiration strikes. Some days you have to just sit in the chair and write as if it were a job. :P

But there are those wonderful creative moments when inspiration does strike and the words flow almost effortlessly. Those are good days, but they aren't the norm. At least not for me. :)

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks for visiting, Gail!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Luanne, you are certainly right on both counts. If you want to write many books, you can't wait for inspiration to strike. But it is oh so wonderful when it does!