In another conversation, there was talk about inspiration in the context of art. As an art student, long ago, I learned about many great artists (in books and in galleries) and digested unusual and sometimes amazing thoughts and opinions from my teachers, some I even remember! We had assignments to copy the old masters, to understand their techniques better, to even be inspired but there needed to be some conversation about semantics here also, the difference between copying and being inspired within the framework of art. Art, in all forms, begins with an inspiration, at least to do meaningful art, art that has a source has a heart and that, for me, makes it good art. Many artist find their muse or inspiration in nature and in the characteristics of interesting people and many artist learn more about technique through copying and writers through reading other works, etc. Unfortunately, that edge of creative inspiration sometimes bleeds into that bitter, unattractive edge of “lifting” or an even tougher more descriptive word “copying”. The age of the internet has brought with it the opportunity to lift someone’s ideas and take them for your own, which, in my opinion, is the opposite of what an artist is, unoriginal. My words are harsh but for those of you who have had this personal experience, these words are perhaps soothing. I cannot quite understand how people cross over, how do you create art if it is not something that moves your soul and releases itself in the form of paint or words or dance or music, etc.?
So, those two words, inspiration and lifting, create a flurry of conflict for me, as do belief and faith, a flow of semantic confusion on a Monday morning. I hope that it is inspiration and faith that moves us forward.