The cyclical nature of inspiration

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by David R Munson, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    We all have our dry spells. Sometimes they're relatively benign - just a slight drop in motivation and a few less frames taken. Other times they're more severe and can take the form of complete burn-out with a complete abstinance from photography that may stretch into months if not years. There's a lot that can get us down in our photography, but in the end I think any number of factors manifest themselves in a lack of that very thing that gets us up in that glorious, unstoppable way.

    Inspiration seems, to me at least, to be cyclical. It comes and goes, ebbs and trickles and (very) occasionally comes flowing out like water out of a fire hose.

    But why is it so cyclical? While we may sometimes find ourselves in a span of months when, in terms of inspiration, we feel utterly unstoppable and see no reason that it should ever decline. But it always does, sooner or later. And, likewise, it always comes back after a dry spell (assuming you don't give up altogether in the mean time).

    Do we get tired? Do we simply outstrip our resources and have to wait for the good stuff to come back and reach a critical mass again? What is the driving force behind inspiration, and why is it so fickle?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. victor

    victor Member

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    dave.. yes it is cicyling - the inspiration.
    something somehow fires our mind and gets us into some tenssion that can be solved only in "doing" and the satisfaction can be only the feedbacks of that "doing". if those feedbacks are possitive, we are in mental disposition of "tenssion solved" and we satisfied - relaxed. if the feedbacks are negative or just not sutisfactory enough than we getting emotionaly and mentally tired.
    "sutisfactory" is mainly a function of two "mental dispositions". one is a kind of equvalance between our imagination and what the final outcome is. the other is more powerful in some terms - the surprise - u r discovering something new, not necesserly to the science, humanity or art, but something new to yourself which leads u to further development and a new perspectives on things (maybe in the field of art u do or maybe, even in the way u observe "life" and existance etc).
    well, that is from the point of view of epistemologiest (a kind of "researcher of mind".. lol), that is what i do beside the photo.
    i will add some other thought on this issue later.
     
  3. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Such is life. Non linear and even when linear, filled with zigs and zags. One book that touches on this is entitled "Mastery" by George Leonard. Covers the concept of becoming a master. Definitely non-linear.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi dave:

    not sure why it happens ... but i know with me, my "issues" have to do with having small kids that i take care of, work, and not really any time to get this stuff out of my head. i guess i am just waiting in a holding pattern :smile:
     
  5. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    There is a rather well-known painting by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (b. Leyden 1606 -) - a self-portrait where he is standing in front of an enormous, dark, canvas - palette and brush in one hand; the other conveying, in body language -- "What do I do now?"
    Rembrandt - THE Rembrandt - expressing the same common struggle we all have - and proving that he shares human frailties with all of us.

    Where DOES the inspiration come from? ... I have no idea. This whole "art-photography" game can be an obsession, a compulsion, a crushing burden (see "meeting deadlines"); a source of immense joy...
    I've often said that, "I do it because I feel better when I do it than I do when I don't do it" - that is the truth - awkward, but the truth.
    At times, I cannot stay away - I'd walk through hell to do photography - with a smile on my face -; at other times - I have to force myself. Even in those dark times - I still feel "better" doing it, than if I wasn't doing it.

    Who said it ... "Ah, the Muse. She is beautiful. Sometimes she can be a demanding bitch, ... but she is always beautiful".

    From my department of non-answers...
     
  6. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I believe it is part of being human. Sometimes you're hot, sometimes you're not. Sometimes it's your turn, sometimes it's someones elses.

    We as humans also get bored easily and what was an inspiration can get old on us and we need a new inspiration. Other times, other of life's confilcts come into the mix and mess up our concentration.

    Me, I don't worry much about it. I give myself new assignments until I get my mojo back.

    It's all about life's ebbs and flows.


    Michael McBlane
     
  7. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I just keep myself way to busy to worry about it. If I'm stuck I have tons of mistakes filed away that I go to, look through and learn from. Then turn those mistakes into oppertunities. When a new idea does show itself I play with it in my head for a while till I can see it then draw it. Those drawings can take years to come to fruition but they are a constant resource for accomplishment. Being idle is my devil so as long as there are things to work on (photographically) new inspiration springs from almost anywhere, I just try to stay aware.
     
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Sorry to drag this old thread up but, wow I'm stuck in a rut. It seems that I have hit the wall, theres a total block. I have shot less than a roll this whole month, but had purchased 4 bodies, 2 flashes, and a bunch of small random things. Ive also been reading a lot more, and have bought a few books on photography as well. But still I havent been able to shoot anything. I carry a camera with me everyday, and I have been in the darkroom almost everyday(though not to work on my material, but to instruct).

    What do you guys do when this starts to happen? How do you restart or give yourself a kick start? How do you guys get inspired? Whats your source of inspiration?