The sophomore at High School for Performing and Visual Arts’ Creative Writing class shared her observation, “I found that the things that interest me inspire me in not just my writing, but in this photography and other ways, too.” She seemed surprised, but also quite proud of the insights. Her point is not to be missed.
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching a four-session sequence on how words and images inspire and inform each other. The last session of them presenting their new works provided views of their imagination, talent and new skills. It also provided some important reminders about responding to inspiration.
In the first session of the sequence, I provided students with some basics on photographic technique and seeing the world photographically. Subsequent sessions capitalized on the photographic skills to enhance their writing. It was all based on a course I developed called Words and Images for Houston Center for Photography, but there the students are photographers and older. Working with the high school students was more than a treat; it was rejuvenating.
What interests you? Let it inspire more than just one or two forms of expression. If you’re interested in gardening, why not trying photography, writing (blogs, instructional, poetry, etc.), drawing, cooking or even music compositions influenced and inspired by your love of gardening? The examples are endless, but perhaps the first step is to pause and reflect on the things that inspire you. Then consider the forms of creative expression you enjoy. Mix and marinate … voila! Inspiration!!
I have always been intrigued by my Southern heritage. It has inspired me to take classes, as well as my own self-education through research and reading. It influences my cooking, and finally influenced a book of poetry, musings and photography. What things interest you?
The young woman’s smile and exuberance when she shared her observation reminded me how important it is to remain open to inspiration, AND to act on it. It prompted me to consider the things that interest me as sources of inspiration. I respond to many of them as part of how I live, but realized there are many things of interest that I don’t tap into for inspiration. Her smile broke down the wall between interesting and inspiring.
Consider the things that interest you. Follow the sophomore’s revelation. Be inspired! Create!!