The last time you felt inspired

I’m in need of some inspiration, so I was wondering about everyone else.

When’s the last time you felt inspired? What did it feel like? What happened? What did you do with it?


Ah, inspiration, my all-time favourite drug…

My latest dose of inspiration came from reading ‘Natural Selection,’ a book where highly intelligent predatory manta rays emerge from the depths of the ocean, learn to fly, and decide humans are delicious.

What did I do with it?

A few months a go, I was massively inspired watching someone play that Jason and the Argonauts RPG on X-box. My inspiration is random like that. As a result, I designed and started writing an incredibly open ended, sandbox-style, text based RPG set on board a space station. I scripted most of the prsion, which is where you start, as well as the numerous methods of escape before I was forced by circumstance to stop.

Maybe I’ll start up again soon…

I’m inspired every day in lots of little ways, but the first thing that came to mind is when I was flying into LaGuardia airport at night several months ago. It was the first time I had seen New York City from an aerial perspective, and it actually moved me to tears. You could see this vast network of lights and the flashing billboards in Times Square and the tiny point of light on the Statue of Liberty and for perhaps the first time in conscious thought, I really realized what humanity was capable of… building a unique civilization, an empire, out of dust. I thought about the millions of people, large and small, and the hundreds of years required to make New York City happen, and it suddenly made me feel so optimistic about what we can accomplish together.

I’m an artist, and when I’m not inspired both my work and, consequentially, my wallet suffer. My stock in trade is blindingly bright, colorful, surrealist paintings of fish; much more about shape and color than about trying to capture a realistic image of a fish. And always with clever titles.

When I’m feeling unispired, I dig through my tons of reference material; books, pictures from magazines, the 'net, whatever…hoping that something will jar me visually and that might turn into a good sketch, and later a good canvas (and later, a few hundred bucks).
A few days ago I was recovering from a bit of a headcold, my son was being pissy and in near-tantrum mode, and the missus was in a mood. Working in the studio was the last thing on my mind, but I only get about 3-4 hours during the day to get any work done, so I was trying to get inspired to do something…anything.

I had been wanting to paint a flounder for a while, and had already laid out a stack of sketches that just didn’t work compositionally. Since I was going to the well and coming up dry, I decided just to straighten the studio up; get ready to paint and maybe a lightning bolt of inspiration would strike. I picked up this oval-shaped, stainless steel pencil sharpener off my computer desk with the intention of putting it in the cabinet where it belonged. I happened to glance down as I was bringing it up and over my flounder sketches.

ZOW! The perfect comp; a single fat little perch swimming above this big, ugly flat flounder. Seen from about a 60 degree angle. Bright jewel colors contrasting with dull earthtones. An instant after the future painting (now halfway finished) set itself up in my mind, the perfect title flashed: “Jake and the Flat Man”

I’m not sure it’s inspiration exactly, but something’s in the air now. I keep hearing Pigkiller in my mind, shouting “I can feel it! The dice are rollin’!”. It was a bunch of individually pointless, mundane things happening all in a few days: a thread here that got me to thinkin’, a call from the doctor that wasn’t so much fun, a donation to the local school, a chat with a crazy hitchhiker I took up to town, a problem with the plumbing that appears to be in the vent stack, a chance encounter with a mechanic who knows a mechanic who’s looking for something I have in the garage… I feel a little pumped up; I feel like this could be my last chance. So far, all I’ve done with it so far is several pencil sketches. But I’ve dug out my favorite crowbar and drywall saw and my sledge and I’m giving that wall the eye, and this wall over here, too. And none of the other walls are feeling particularly safe from me at the moment. I’m thinking in a month or two, this house is going to be even less normal than it is now. I don’t know for sure how it’ll turn out, but as Pigkiller’s infinite wisdom informs us: “PLAN?!? There ain’t no plan!”.

Why yes, Pigkiller’s always been a hero of mine.