Traffic jams do not inspire, I don’t care what anyone says.
In January, my cousin & I went on an “artist adventure” in New Mexico. We explored the same terrain that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous paintings. Gold and pink rock climbed high, adobe buildings and sagebrush spread out in all directions; the only borders were waves of mountains on the horizon. Returning from the big blue skies of the American Southwest – I felt inspired.
Back in Dallas, I got a quick refresh on what kills my artist energy.
Bills. Traffic. Strip malls.
So, I planned a “surprise” hike somewhere new for my boyfriend & I to Explore Nature Together. I wanted to share with him a Texas taste of the beauty of the American Southwest.
We ended up at a dead-end in a bad neighborhood, staring at a neon city roadblock, which barred the entrance to a sketchy group of trees. The only other sign of life was a roadside prostitute and some loudly barking dogs. The rest of our nature afternoon was used-up in a typical Dallas traffic jam, and an argument. I was pissed, (not sure who at) and totally uninspired.
For me, feeling inspired has a lot to do with my environment. But it’s not possible for me to take an afternoon hike up a mountain, or sit and think by a river in my hometown, so I’ve had to find a few substitutes. For a variety of really good reasons, I'm come to the conclusion it's my personal responsibility to me- as well as the world, to do things that help me feel better.
Humor me for a minute. Think of a time you found yourself in your "happy place," your zone, while you were making or doing something. How were you feeling physically? Do you remember how you felt after?
Why is it almost a novelty to spend time at a hobby or craft in our culture unless it’s already your job or you’re retired?
I've recently figured out, if I can create something everyday, even a shitty poem, or 5 minutes of meaningful connection with someone, I feel more alive, useful, purposeful, fulfilled. And feeling more alive, useful, purposeful and fulfilled, makes me be a better friend, sister, aunt, artist, and in general, human being.