Going off-list to talk about inspiration

(Click here to listen to an audio recording of this post.)

One of the things that inspires me the most is the beginning stages of a new project. I have been feeling really excited about the blog project for the past few weeks, and I've been working on my list-building posts almost every day. Now, that excitement for building the catalog is starting to fade ... not because I'm bored with it, certainly, but because I'm eager to start actually doing the things! For me, a period of fading excitement is part of the lifecycle of a project. So instead of posting the ten things I had planned to add to the list today, I'm going to embrace it, and talk about inspiration.

I don't think of inspiration as having ideas, although having ideas is certainly helpful. I think of inspiration as the rush of energy I get when I am excited about a project, or intrigued by the possibilities of a medium, or awestruck by others' work. In 2013, I wrote an article on the arts policy blog Createquity about museums as places of inspiration. Specifically, I made the argument that inspiration is a common thread between museums more than arts, education, or other themes. I still feel that way today, although I do apologize for the article's tagline, which includes the buzzword "re-branding."

I asked a number of friends what inspires them, and the answers were great -- phrased in a lot of different ways, but essentially, people said they are inspired by passion, dedication, talent, and creativity. Exactly the things we want inspiration to help us with, in fact! 

I also find inspiration in unexpected beauty. I took this picture while canoeing almost a decade ago. The tangle of tree roots is sticking out from eroded side of an island in a river, so we could easily paddle under the roots and look up at the sky.