Inspiration

What does the act of trying to regain artistic inspiration look like?: It looks like 2 bottles of wine, and half a bottle of whiskey…

Inspiration the artist’s friend and oh! how it eludes the artist. Whether is be periodically or, as in my case, is a total evaporation of the liquid gold that is the inspired photograph.

It is that age old question, an artist faces… “why does inspiration elude me and where the hell did it go?”

So many times before, there has always been something to fire up the old creative neurones. But when you want to challenge yourself creatively, allow the energy to flow, sometimes the heat of that determination can evaporate, nay, crystallise your ideas so that any light that may pass through them becomes distorted and obscures the bigger picture..

Without a muse, without a cause, the ideas you develop as an artist can seen contrite, cliched, without form. And as you wander down the path of artistic endeavour, the inspiration for the ‘perfect idea’ stays at the garden gate… hell it sometimes travels in completely in the other direction, and if you push yourself harder to be creative, can even accelerate away from you, leaving you lost and living a beige creative existence.

When it comes to portrait photography, exploring the human condition, (because that is essentially what it is about) without inspiration is perhaps the most difficult place to be as an artist. Yes there are many stories out there to tell, there are many people who need their stories telling, but without inspiration… without that creative spark… were the hell do you go from here?

They say art, and an artist’s creativity is driven by existential angst and anguish. If i want to propel myself forward as an artist then i must find must find my state of disquietude…

Despite the world falling apart, despite the lockdowns, despite the pain and suffering being experienced around the world, I can find nothing to inspire me… and maybe that’s why my inspiration is gone, that maybe is the key. People don’t want to focus on the negative anymore… taking ‘that photograph‘ is too easy, and everyone else seems to be doing it anyway. Maybe my empathy has been saturated to such an extent that other peoples suffering has made me immune to people in general. Its clear that to get out of this creative existential funk, I need to stop focusing on what is in front of (me) us all and look deeper into the souls of people to find the joy that the human spirit will always find in times of adversity…

Photographing hope… photographing joy… taking photography back to basics to capture real life. That is what photography was intended for. But instead of focusing on the current negatives that all pervade society, I need to delve deeper and find the joy to inspire, to give hope and spread love… in a pandemic that’s where inspiration lies in providing hope…

Below is the last photo I took in 2020…

Christmas Morning 2020 © Matt Thornhill

Here’s to 2021…