For most, the best way to get inspired is to breathe art, mingle with other creative people, study the life and work of the most famous artists in history, even if they don’t belong to the same discipline. If you are a painter, you must produce many paintings until you find your style. If you are a writer, you will have to fill thousands of pages to refine your technique. If you are a musician, you will need to rehearse for years until you can master music. As Pablo Picasso put it into words many years ago: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. Creating constantly and learning from the work of others is a good way to draw inspiration. Much of art arises from art itself.
Stone, Wood, Water, Metal: the Relation between Inspiration and Nature
Like Basque sculptors Basterretxea and Chillida, many artists have chosen to work with organic forms that blend in with the environment, with simple materials that connect with the essence of the earth. Nature is one of the main themes and a source of inspiration for many creators throughout history, whether in music, painting, sculpture, or architecture. For romantic artists, the natural environment was shrouded in mystery, dark, suggestive, and powerful. Perhaps the scene from “Wanderer above the sea of fog” the world-famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich, where a man stands before a wild place between mountains, will come to your mind. It is easy to understand that many find inspiration in the forests, seas, and lakes of the world and that many artists seek the peace and tranquillity of the countryside to focus on their artwork.
Chillida’s most famous work is called Peine del Viento XV, a sculptural ensemble with three steel figures embedded in the rocks of a cliff in San Sebastian, in northern Spain. The waves constantly whip the sculpture, and the wind whistles as it caresses the surface of the pieces. He once said about it: “This place is the origin of everything, the true author of the work. All I did was discover it. The wind, the sea, the rock, all of them intervene decisively. It is impossible to do a sculpture like this without taking into account the environment. It is something that I have done and that I have not done myself.”
This sentence again reflects the transcendental character of inspiration, as well as the connection between art and nature that ancient civilizations understood as an act of the gods. Art elevates us above the material world, beyond our consciousness, and bonds us in a special way to the universe. Artists are able to use inspiration to create things that make us dream, but the rest of us can also look for it. Whether it is to make a new recipe in the kitchen, combine clothes or find a creative solution to a problem at work, the keys are always the same: know yourself, stay in touch with your natural side, don´t stop learning and work hard to excel at what you love. At any point, the least expected day, inspiration will show up.