The work of Edward Hopper has always fascinated me. During my time at art school, I often used to find inspiration in the strange, intimate scenes that he depicts. Looking to find my muse in the master, this time around I have found a way to master my muse (or at least to give her a good kick from time to time).
I am sure many of you are aware of the pressure that comes with having to generate good ideas at any given time. Let me reassure you: you are not alone.
As I am making Christmas cards and lavender sachets for a craft fair next weekend, I am driven by that pressure and at the same time I am intimidated by it. A bunch of ‘what if’ questions are buzzing around my head like flies and whilst I usually feel inspired on my way to the studio, I often just procrastinate once I get there.
Ever wondered why that is? Me, too. I recently came across a Stanford study which claims that walking can make you more creative – 60% more creative in fact. Once I read that a light came on. I don’t drive and living in a small town I walk absolutely everywhere.
Now, if the act of walking has the power to light the creative spark, no wonder I get my best ideas at the most impossible times when I am either dragging myself around in the pouring rain or queuing at the supermarket checkout with no pen and my hands too busy to type anything into my phone.
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Aphorism 34, 1889
Great! Thanks Stanford. So, how can I manage my inspiration (or muse) using this information? I decided to read the research paper in some detail and realised that the study found that it absolutely does not matter where you walk or under what circumstances. Apparently walking on a treadmill whilst staring at a wall will work just as well as strolling along the sea front in the sunshine.
Bingo! Whilst I would prefer a stroll in the sunshine over the indoors option any time, I am willing to pace around my studio to the get the creative juices flowing if it means that I will have the inspiration I need to get my work done and feel happy and fulfilled in the process.
Why don’t you give this a go and let me know how you get on? Or maybe you do this intuitively?
Until next time,