Where Does Inspiration Come From?

A Right Thought on where inspiration comes from and using dreams as inspiration.

Inspiration can be such a funny beast, it can strike out of nowhere and at times, wen not tended to immediately, can simply disappear. It’s something all artists desire and at times can be very difficult to obtain. In my experience my best work comes from ‘spontaneous’ inspiration. There are of course aids to help sustain inspiration once you have it. Things like beautiful music and even spending time with certain people can not only act as fuel to keep inspiration alive but also as a catalyst for it. But what is inspiration, how does it work from a psychological point of view.

There are many theories and theses from a lot of different researchers and phycologists, but my favorite explanation comes from the father of psychology, Sigmund Freud. He stated – Inspiration is part of the inner psyche of the artist. It’s a result of unresolved psychological or childhood trauma. He saw artists as ‘special’ and fundamentally wounded. In popular culture artists are often portrayed as emotionally wounded individuals and even though this is, more often than not, an exaggeration or even a simplification of an artist, it’s fundamentally true and Freud’s theory supports this view of an artist.

Father of Psychology, Sigmund Freud

Since inspiration is contained within the subconscious one of the most interesting ways to access it is through dreams. Dreams usually serve as the minds way of making sense of past experiences and things your mind couldn’t fully process when conscious and dreams serves as the perfect platform to bring forth this experiences in an interesting or artistic way. It’s a technique that have been used by many artists in the past and is called Dream Art. They base their work directly on their dreams and was often used by surrealists like Salvador Dali. I also tend to get creative ideas in the final minutes before I fall asleep. My mind gets filled with interesting and creative ideas. The reason for this is basically the same reason you dream, as you start to fade away into sleep outside stimulus are shut out and your mind starts making sense of the days’ events and experiences. In essence “thinking” and it’s important for all creative types to shut down and rest in order to allow the mind to think.

I think it’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of inspiration since it can have so many catalysts from both the literal world as well as the mind. I can’t pinpoint the source of all my inspiration but, like mentioned earlier, other creative people and music tend to inspire me.

What inspires you? Be sure to sound of in the comments.

Franscois Potgieter

Founder, Artist, The Mind Is Right

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