What Inspires You

The Road Less Traveled

In the wee hours of the early morning, I laid in bed, my mind racing with non-contiguous thoughts. Trying as I might to fall back asleep, my thoughts kept coming back to the word ‘Inspiration’.

First, I kept thinking what inspires me. I also thought about the definition of the word. Jumping around, I landed on thoughts of topics in everyday life that might inspire me, inspire you or just inspire anybody. At times, I thought about those posters that companies put up to inspire and motivate their workforce.

As the night slowly moved to morning, I decided to write a blog on the subject. But what specific might I write about that would be of interest to you, the reader? As a result, I put off writing this blog until I could answer that question. Since I don’t know you, let me tell you about what inspires me and try to integrate that into what your inspirations might be. I don’t know any other way to say it. Therefore, here we go.

So, what does inspire me? Everyday life, events in the news, porn, family, friends, work, my career and everyday conversations with my people of all types and relationships. It can be an ad on television or a memory from my childhood.

I’ve written in the past that my mind is constantly filled with thousands of images that flies through my noggin, bounces around a bit before being replaced another. This happens on a daily basis. The ones I find interesting, I try to capture for later followup. Many of those never see the light of day. But those that do, become inspiration for follow-up study and potential implementation into a story or painting.

The problem is, with so many sources to draw from, I have to be careful to use that latest image is inspiration for something unique and creative. In other words, I have to very careful not to plagiarise the idea and duplicate someone else’s creative work. It’s hard but I strive hard to make it happen.

I’m also a perfectionist with my craft. In my paintings, I like realism. I like to make my compositions look as real as possible, even if the subjects are magical and mystical creatures or devices that could not exist in real life. In my stories, I spend a lot of time researching my idea and searching for other works to see if it has already been done. As I write, I keep careful notes to ensure that physical characteristics and experiences of my characters remain consistent. I don’t want to write that a character is tall in one chapter only to be short in a later chapter.

Then, be it a painting or a story, once the work is done, I review and scan and check to make sure that every detail is accounted for, every word is the right word to use in intended context. Is it the right color, perspective or composition. Do I need to rewrite this segment, repaint that corner or what have you.

Be it paintings or stories, it is this editing that important to me. I hate putting out inferior products. Even in my work, I write programs etc. The actual coding is only 30% of the software coding. The rest is planning and testing. The same goes for my painting or writing. I plan about 30% of the composition, I write or paint for another 30% or so and the rest is in the polishing.

In researching this blog, I came across the following quote by Johannes Brahms.

"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind."

I like that because I lean towards the craftsmanship. Every stroke of the brush, every letter of every word, is meticulously placed to achieve my desired goal. At some point, the project must end, mistakes and all otherwise nothing would ever be finished. I strive hard to be better at my craft. I strive to make a new work be better than the last. Most importantly, I’m not afraid to make a mistake. It is my mistakes that allow me to grow and improve.

So, how does all this relate to you, my reader. I honestly don’t know. I’m only trying to understand you through what is important to me. If what inspires you also inspires me, then we can make a connection. I feel that we already have something in common, else you wouldn’t be reading this. So, tell me, what inspires you? I really want to know.

Till next time, this is Richard Verry, spewing out thoughts that will hopefully help me understand what makes you tick. As I travel this road of inspiration, I hope I meet you and together, share ideas. Till next time, have a great day.

Perfection

yogi berra quote on perfection

I heard a quote last night when watching NCIS on TV. Special Agent Gibbs quoted Yogi Berra with the following.

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."

Just to be clear, I never heard the quote before and I found it intriguing. I spent some quality time in reflecting upon it.

We’ve all wished the world was perfect. I know I have on many occasions. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a perfect utopia, where all needs are met and want is nonexistent.

Yet, the more I thought about the quote, the more I realized, he may be correct. Analyzing the comment, I first applied the concept to myself. Then, I applied it to the lady in my life who happens to be the love of my life. After that, I expanded it out to my family, friends, acquaintances, people I don’t know and for that matter, everyone on the planet.

To keep it simple let’s look at it as it applies to myself. After that, just expand my rationale to everyone else.

If the world were perfect, I would have been raised by perfect parents. I would have great relationships with them as well as my siblings. I don’t now but I’ve often wished it. I would also live in a home filled with love. Well I do have that now but that was not always the case. I would have money enough to buy anything I wanted. Oh wait. There would be no want. I already have everything I ever wanted. So why do I need money?

In my career of choice, I’m a computer network technician and software engineer. I’ve enjoyed learning how to manage, program and maintain computer systems. In my personal life, I’ve pursued learning about the arts. I am a decent artist and writer. I learned a long time ago to deal with repair and maintenance on my house, my car and … well whatever I needed to figure out.

In case you’ve not guessed it, I enjoy solving problems and puzzles. However, in this perfect utopian world, there would be no problems in need of solving. There would be no puzzles to piece together. There would be no challenges to overcome. Extrapolating further and applying this to everyone else, we would all be in the same position. All of our wants are met and therefore, we would want for nothing.

How boring!

I can only conclude that if the world was perfect, I would not have a place in it where I was happy. Therefore, can I truly say it’s a perfect world since my world is not perfect. How about you?

I guess I don’t want to live in a perfect world after all. What the hell am I say? Please, someone slap me silly.

Endless Repeat

golddustwoman-takeyoursilverspoonEndless Repeat

When I write or paint, I tend to put on music so that I can stay focused on what I’m doing. The other day I was discussing music with a friend of mine. It got me thinking.

I play ‘Gold Dust Woman’ by Fleetwood Mac on endless repeat for hours while I write or paint. While I like this song, it is not my favorite. It’s only when I sit in my studio and work that I will put this one on endless repeat. It’s my go to song to play when I want to get lost in my project. Perhaps it is the catchy tune, the driving beat or just something that soothes my thoughts. I just like it. Therefore the CD is always nearby and ready to play.

golddustwoman-stevienicksIt really doesn’t matter what the project is either. I could be sketching a rough draft, drawing a final composition, painting in oils and watercolors or writing chapter after chapter of my new book. The song somehow allows me to disappear into my project. Lost in the realm I’m creating, the words seem to flow effortlessly to the keyboard, the paint flows from my brush to the canvas and the pencils and pastels blend smoothly across the paper. I’m in Heaven, Valhalla or any place one associates with a perfect alternate reality.

gold dust womanHours later, I will emerge pleased with the progress I’ve made. After consuming food and drink, I come back and review my progress. I rarely find something that I want to touch up or change. I can only think that the trance I’m in somehow enhances the quality of my work.

After emerging, I am often surprised by how long I was gone, disappeared in this trance. And yes, I am in a trance. I recognize and welcome it. I am most annoyed when I am forced out of it by some external influence. “Sorry honey if I snapped at you. You’ll forgive me. Right?”

Time to get back to work. Now, where did that CD go now?

Marketing on Social Media

So, I’ve been on social media for a while now, and the more I learn about it, the more I realize that it is an important part of marketing my books and artwork. The folks who I now following have lots of great ideas and thoughts that make a whole lot of sense to me. I hope that my posts do the same for you.

What bothers me is that it seems that I have to pay attention to the feeds throughout the day, everyday. Don’t get me wrong, it can be fun but it can be tedious as well.

I struggle with the idea that I have to post multiple times a day. I don’t believe that I would do justice to my followers. The ones I’ve been in direct contact with, tell me that my thoughts and insights are interesting. They want to read them. Makes me smile. Thanks to all who get this far in my essay.

So, back to struggling with this whole new venture involving social media. I find that I seem to be spending more time marketing than writing or painting. I also have a real full-time job. I don’t want that to be jeopardized by what I do here.

So, how do I balance everything? I presume that in the years to come, I’ll figure it out and it won’t be so intrusive on my time. Yet, I have a driving need to promote my creative works. It’s not so much selling my books or my fine art. It’s more that I love the idea of people appreciating my work enough that they want their very own copy of it, or the original for that matter when it comes to my art.

I’m not saying that I am a world class author or artist. Time will tell in that front. But, I believe I’m good and I’ll only get better by doing what I love to do.

Writing and painting. Right now, writing has the nod. But how do I do that while promoting, marketing and supporting myself on a shoestring budget.

Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome. Please send me your thoughts. I really want to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and have a cup of coffee or tea; a glass of wine or the taste of a good woman or man. Till next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, which isn’t much.

OMG, maggicalExpressions is now on Facebook and Twitter

I’m not sure that this is a good thing or not but I have to protect my brand before someone steals it. Will it be addicting, or will I be able to manage it just fine. Time will tell. Oh My!

Feel free to share your comments to me on the pluses and minuses. Thx.

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