Where do you find inspiration to be creative? I take pieces from music, art, ideas, conversations, and even social media. I have a degree in Studio Art, yet I still struggle with finding inspiration to be more creative in my day to day life. My high school art teacher once said that we are most creative in the morning when we first wake up. She always suggested for us to leave a sketchpad on a bedside table and draw for the first 10-20 min. of waking up. That never stuck with me. In college, while working on art projects, I always played music. Music helps me focus and certain types of music bring more creativity to my work.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see -Edgar Degas

Even now while working at a desk and computer for most of the day, I play music to maintain focus and find creativity in certain projects. The biggest cliché of being creative is the phrase “thinking outside the box”. And to be honest, I’ve never liked it because when people say it, it comes across as just do it versus how to do it.

When I was coaching high school track, I would run the athletes through drills, but if they didn’t understand how to do it, was it being done effectively? Probably not. If I explained how the drill should be done and told them why it needed to be done, they understood, and the drill was more effective. Athletes and most people need to know why they’re doing something and how to do it. A few art professors I had in college were the “be creative and just do it” type, while others were the “let me help you find ways to be creative” type. Those professors guided me, tried to understand my vision, and challenged me to extend that vision; they helped give me the tools to be creative, but it was my job to see it through. The goal was to be authentic in our art projects and challenge our creativity to be unique. Each person in my class had a different version of what creativity looked like for them, but at the end of the day, our professors had challenged all of us to see things in a different way and in turn, show others that vision.

Creativity is intelligence having fun -Albert Einstein

Edgar Degas was a French painter, sculptor, and draftsman who is most known for his paintings of dancers, in particular, ballerinas. The Dance Foyer at the Opera on the rue Le Peletier (Le foyer de la danse à l’Opéra de la rue Le Peletier) is one of my favorite Degas paintings. What do you see in this painting? Do you see passion? Persistence? Love? Hard work? Boredom? Maybe you see a combination of these. Degas was right. It’s not about what you see, but what you make others see.
The Dance Foyer at the Opera on the rue Le Peletier

How many individuals in your life challenge you to be a better version of yourself?

I always say that a lot of things in life are like art. There will always be people who dislike your art, and a true artist will embrace that while staying authentic to his/herself. How will you take what you have and make it your art?


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