I’ve been thinking a lot, about art and my home and all the things that are an extension or representation of me.
The second half of the year is well underway which means every day is a step closer to returning to University and a visual art degree. What should be an exciting thing on my horizon grips at my heart and freezes me. Am I good enough? It’s there a point honing my art and putting that out there when there are so many others already doing just that? What if I’m terrible and I waste the next few years and thousands of dollars on a self indulgent degree?
These questions lead me to look outward for inspiration and not influence. What I find out there often starts those questions and fears of inadequacy right back up, that’s when I know I’ve found influence and not inspiration.
Inspiration makes me want to grab a sketch book and pencil, paintbrush or camera and create.
Influence makes me feel my efforts are futile
Sometimes inspiration and influence are people rather than things, it can be hard to work out which especially if they’re people you’ve known for a long time, or people you only know online. It’s not to say that these people are controlling or in any way trying to exert influence over anyone, but if I find myself looking for their approval of my choices then I know I am being influenced.
Inspiration makes me want to make something of my own.
Influence makes me want to own what others have.
Being someone that is prone to being different from other people and finding that incredibly isolating, I find it easier to go with the flow of others in order to fit in. I’ve recently realised the easiest way to tell when this is not okay is to voice my opinion when it differs, people who like and care about me for who I am will accept a difference of opinion. Those who are only interested in spreading their influence however will ignore, or push you away, it’s not a pleasant experience but a good way of weeding negative people out of my life. There are others* who have lovely homes, or lovely wardrobes, or are just lovely lovely people who have their head together or just seem to work their magic so well that they are inspiring, it would be easy to be influenced and turn my style into a mirror of theirs but it wouldn’t have the soul that they embody. That’s the problem with being influenced even when no one is trying to influence you, mirroring someone else’s passion leaves you with a perfectly nice copy, but it rings hollow compared to finding your own personal style or path.
For now I’m attempting to be mindful when looking to the outside to ensure I’m seeking inspiration, whether it’s in the pursuit of art or in the renovation of my home or even down to what I wear.
How do you feel about inspiration? What inspires you?
*Just a few of these inspiring people: