The Muses that Inspire Us

She thirsts for expression,

Swaying to her own beat.

She prowls inside our heads,

Craving to feast.

To feast on our minds,

A mangled array of confusion,

She wants to break free,

She’s looking for retribution.

She feeds on the dreamers and the wanderers,

She turns even the skeptics into believers.

Her insanity craves a palette of myriad hues,

To help her overcome the defiant blues.

To some she’s Mother Nature in her full glory,

To others she’s the sea in her raging fury.

To one she appears as unicorns, angels or fantasies,

While others have visions of nudes, Gods and galaxies.

She’s the celestial entity reining the aesthetic universe,

She’s the ethereal MUSE that inspires all of us.

                                                   (Self-composed).

Inspiration is something that comes easily to some people, while for others, it can be quite a struggle. What serves as inspiration, is called the MUSE. Most artists look for a muse as a source of their creative genius. But what is a muse? It can be anything that sparks your creativity and imagination, like a person, place, object or even a situation for that matter.

A muse is something that has to be considered very thoughtfully. For most artists, a person — especially a woman — will be a source of artistic inspiration. In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences.

Having a muse that is capable of bringing your creative ideas to life, is a gift. Traditionally female muses have been the source of many artistic inspirations and great works of art, due to their beauty, character, or some other mysterious quality.

For most artists, a  muse is a person who ignites his or her fantasy. But for me, it can be anything that acts as a fuel and sparks my artistic neurons to get my creative juices flowing. It’s what unleashes my artistic energy.

Finding a muse can seem difficult sometimes, but certain things can fuel ideas for works of art.  It is this muse that penetrates the artist’s mind, which is the seed of  one’s creativity. This source of inspiration gives birth to the spark of creation, and thus an innovative idea is conceived in the womb of the mind. The artist then gestates and nurtures this notion of his imagination, until it matures into a viable concept. It’s now his baby, ready to be born, all set to see the light of the outside world.

But how does one find a muse? I believe that the muse finds the artist and not the other way round. It is a spontaneous process and cannot be planned or predicted in any way. Having said that, I would like to share a few personal tips with you all that could help you along your path to discovering your own muse:

  1. Think – Note down your thoughts and work on them. Even if they seem irrelevant and foolish,  pen them down.   Sometimes the most mundane of ideas spark a highly fascinating story or concept.
  2.  Memories –  Recall your past, look at old photos and reminisce about old times with your relatives and friends. Who knows? You may  find treasures while digging up the ground!
  3. Travel and interact – Talk to people and be active socially-by doing this, ideas will flourish far more easily. Travelling is an extremely important part of the creative journey, and has helped countless artists.  Believe me,  a change in environment can go a long way in powering up  your inspiration.
  4. Take note of your emotions –  When you’re exhilarated, remorseful, thrilled, bored, concerned or even feeling level, make note of exactly what’s going through your mind and how you see life in that state – even a simple emotion can be a source of great works  of art.
  5. Make a note of your dreams – Several artists have based their works on dreams. Salvadore Dalí’s paintings are said to have been fruits of their creator’s dreamy imagination. Keep a ‘dream diary’ where you write what you saw and how you felt in each dream. This will help in completing the concept.
  6. Read, listen and see – Read books, listen to music, visit galleries. Make yourself a journal with your favorites  and  a how-to-do manual with techniques you found unique and interesting. In today’s world of technology, the internet is also a great source of information so all hail Google and Youtube! Listen to an eclectic mix of music (opera, rock, jazz, anything). Be bold and experiment. You’ll be surprised how much inspiration this can give you.
  7. Dare to be bold? – Step out of your comfort zone and try things you would never do. It could prove life-altering and inspiring.
  8. Trust your  instincts –  Have faith on your gut feeling and just do it (As long as it’s not illegal!).
  9. Don’t plan too much –  Inspiration isn’t something you can plan. It comes to you spontaneously so if you try to organize it into a plan, the idea will become stale by the time you are done planning. Don’t try to be too methodical, just go with the flow and let things fall into place on their own.
  10. Start! –  Don’t keep waiting. Begin with whatever comes into your mind and play along as you go to shape up your concept. You’ll be  pleasantly surprised when you run into your muse as you cruise along your creative voyage.

In the next few posts, I am going to share with you a few of my muses and what inspires me to paint. But, before I do that, a DISCLAIMER…the next set of paintings are mostly imitations as they are my initial works and part of  my learning process. Hence, neither do I claim them to be my original creations nor take any credit for them. On the contrary, I am grateful to the original artists for providing me with such wonderful inspirations, which helped me hone my skills as I progressed along my creative journey.

So here’s a sneak peak of some of the muses I stumbled upon while learning the finer nuances of art. Each one of them not only contributed towards polishing my technical skills as an artist but also opened my mind to a vast array of creative possibilities. Hope they ignite the spark of inspiration within your creative centers as much as they did for me! I shall discuss them in detail in my future posts.

6 thoughts on “The Muses that Inspire Us

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