The creative process takes form in a endless number of expressions. The fresh taste of revitalization that is experienced through our inner-bursts of creativity is what drives our insatiable desire for creative exploration. From simple straight-forward techniques, to radical and even sometimes unsettling ritual practice, there is no limit to the extent to which creative souls will push themselves for their next artistic epiphany.
It has been reported that Thomas Edison gathered his creative insight by holding a steel ball bearing in his hand over a pan as he fell asleep in his office armchair. The moment he drifted off to sleep the ball would drop into the pan and wake him. It is from this liminal space between awake and asleep that he found the inspiration for his inventions. Poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller was somehow inspired by the smell of rotten apples and kept them in his desk, unable to write without them. Yoshiro Nakamatsu, inventor of the floppy disk (and over 3,000 patents) stated that the closer he gets to death, the more creative he gets. He claims to underwater dive to get “flashes of genius” which ofter come to him “just 0.5 seconds before death.”
Regardless of how strange and elaborate some of these techniques may appear underneath the flashy surface of quirky methodology, they all have the same simple purpose: to inspire creativity. To inspire is to breath in new life through an inner spiral of creative insight. It is this in-spiration that is the real nectar of the muses. Without inspiration there is no creation, therefore the real question for any creative mind is “what inspires you?”
As a musician, writer, and video-blogger I am in a constant process of content creation. What I find inspiring is simply anything transcendent, anything that beckons the soul forth beyond the ordinary and challenges the mind to reorient itself to a higher reality. While I find the idea of nearly drowning and smelling rotten apples amusing to think about, it doesn’t require elaborate circumstantial engineering for me to experience transcendent inspiration. I prefer to find inspiration by simply deepening my appreciation for all aspects of life. However grand or seemingly mundane the area of focus, if I can evoke a genuine appreciation for it, this feeling often grows into fascination until my experience becomes transcendent and deeply fulfilling.
Whether I find myself reveling in the beauty of crackling red rocks that surround my quaint little home town, laughing at the ridiculousness of the world’s toddler-like culture, or letting my mind swirl in the currents of free thought as I collaborate with the universal consciousness, it is through the intention of “finding the beauty” that I unlock the God in all things and free myself from limitations.
I find that art and creative process, when employed for the purpose of catalyzing transcendent experience, is a kind of universal religion. A religion is not bound to any race, belief system, or dogma. While in a sense religion attempts to lead us towards divine transcendence, art seems to be the only translatable aspect of the religious experience that has the ability to transcend all ideological borders and barriers. For me art and the creative process is more than just a hobby, it is a spiritual practice.