Get Inspired: Why, How?

Newton sits under the apple tree. An apple falls and hits him on the head. He suddenly becomes blissed and full of energy as an idea for the theory of gravity comes to him and he writes it down in his notebook.

Inspiration is that feelings which make you chase your dreams. It is being in a state of mind where everything is possible, everything is clear.


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What Artists Reveal About Inspiration?

For fear of making us sound like the Waltons, my band [Elbow] are a huge source of inspiration for me. They’re my peers, my family; when they come up with something impressive, it inspires me to come up with something equally impressive.” – Guy Garvey, musician

Go for a walk Every morning I go to Hampstead Heath [in north London], and I often also go for a wander in the middle of the day to think through a character or situation. I listen to music as I go. Again, it’s about occupying one part of your brain, so that the other part is clear to be creative.” – Polly Stenham, playwright

I seek inspiration in film, theatre, music, art – and in watching other ballet companies, other dancers, and other types of dance. I never feel jealous of another good dancer: I always feel there is so much to learn from them.” – Tamara Rojo, ballet dancer

The little images that I get from sitting alone in my apartment – the way the light is falling through the window; the man I just saw walk by on the other side of the street – find their way into snatches of lyrics. I write in short spurts – for five, 10, 15 minutes – then I pace around the room, or go and get a snack.” – Martha Wainwright, singer-songwriter

Try to ignore the noise around you: the chatter, the parties, the reviews, the envy, the shame.” – Anthony Neilson, playwright and director

Make sure you are asking a question that is addressed both to the world around you and the world within you. It’s the only way to keep going when the doubt sets in.” – Rupert Goold, director

It’s very important for inspiration to go elsewhere: to move away from the city into pastoral settings, and to make space for meditation. I also enjoy talking to people who aren’t involved in art. For my recent work, I’ve had a lot of conversations with people involved in digital technologies. It’s useful to get perspective on what you do by talking to all sorts of different people.” – Isaac Julien, artist

Surround yourself with people who don’t mind you being a bit absent and a bit flakey.” – Lucy Prebble, playwright

The most inspiring thing is to see human ingenuity in action – it is all around us.” – Sunand Prasad, architect

Inspiration Formal Definitions 

English Collins Dictionary

  1. Stimulation or arousal of the mind, feelings, etc., to special or unusual activity or creativity
  2. The state or quality of being so stimulated or aroused
  3. Someone or something that causes this state
  4. An idea or action resulting from such a state
  5. (Life Sciences and Allied Applications / Physiology) the act or process of inhaling; breathing in

Oxford Dictionary

  1. The process that takes place when somebody sees or hears something that causes them to have exciting new ideas or makes them want to create something, especially in art, music or literature
  2. A person or thing that is the reason why somebody creates or does something
  3. A person or thing that makes you want to be better, more successful, etc
  4. A sudden good idea

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