Any word, object or emotion can spark a masterpiece, but sometimes it is really hard to locate a place to start, a focus that can sharpen your mind in a productive direction. The Flying Spark offers a daily challenge to set you on a path to find the inspiration you are looking for.
Though designed primarily for visual artists and writers, the challenges can be used for anything that requires inspiration.
Starting January 1st, 2011, every day a word, an emotion, a memory, a concept, a scene, something to do, or other category will be posted via the Twitter account http://www.twitter.com/flying_spark. It can also be found on Finding Inspiration at http://inspired.gumnut.net
For example, a word challenge, ‘Word: Moonlight’ (First the type of challenge : then the challenge itself). A participant could quite easily draw or write about ‘moonlight’. Challenge met.
But that isn’t all this challenge is about. The Flying Spark is only the beginning of your path to find inspiration because not all of us will want to use a challenge like ‘moonlight’ so literally. The challenge is fully open, anything can be derived from ‘moonlight’.
Perhaps a play on the word? ‘Moonlight’ becomes ‘moonlighting’, something that has nothing to do with earth’s satellite (well, very little) and leads your mind in a completely different direction.
Or perhaps ‘moonlight’ makes you think of the moon shining down on a deserted beach – you could be inspired by the scene – but on that beach walks a lone woman – who is she, where did she come from? – inspired by the woman – she steps on a shell, what kind of shell? A red one, dark in the light – you begin designing using the shell as a starting point – sand is rough and wet between her toes, you can feel it on your fingers, what an interesting texture – you use texture as a starting point – a bird flies across the moon – what kind of bird, feathers, ooh, you had some feathers in your art cupboard waiting for a project – inspired by feathers (hmm, sounds like a condition :D). It goes on like that. The listed challenge is only a starting point, a place to settle your mind and start seeking.
Or, moonlight → sunlight → sunburn → pain → red → roses…a chain of thought leading you in any direction you choose until you find that inspiring thought. The result could have absolutely nothing to do with the challenge that was posted, but the important thing is the result. That is what we aiming for here. A piece of art needs inspiration to be born.
Take the offered challenge and look at it from as many angles as you can think of, let your mind wander until it hits pay dirt. (Go have a shower, it works wonders for me when I’m looking for inspiration, and take the challenge with you :D)
When practised regularly, this can become a skill that you can access automatically. It speeds up your productivity and enables you to find inspiration faster and in a more on-demand basis – something of extreme importance when you are using your art to make a living – you don’t have time to wait around for inspiration, you need to find it and find it now!
And when you have a wonderful piece of work that has been ignited by the Flying Spark, please let me know. I’d love to see it.
(armed with matches)