Sometimes when you’re working on your paper, or trying to come up something to design or draw, you come to a stop. You have a problem of some kind to overcome. You might have no idea where to continue or even start. You’re in a dire need for an inspiration.
It’s an ugly word.
Inspiration is something artists use to describe a sudden realization how they may solve their problem. When you’re a professional in your field you have no need to inspiration any more. You have place that you can use to gain the solution. That place is not really experience, thou it plays large part in it all; the place is need.
When you finally get over the barrier of becoming a craftsman, like one of my translator friend clearly has, you know what needs to be done. You might not have the tools or the solution, but you know the problem. You have the tools how to solve it. Experience plays a part in this, but only to a point.
When you know what to do, there’s no need for inspiration. When you’re crafting a table, you need to solve the problem where to put the legs properly. When you’re translating you have to choose right translations for words that have none.
When I’m talking about artists and creativity I’m not just talking about people who can claim to be artists. These people who make their living with art and call themselves as artists are craftsmen. Their work are there to satisfy the customer, not themselves. A well done work is a satisfaction enough, even if it’s not for your liking. Guess which one is the reason I can’t call myself a true craftsman yet. An artist may, and will, do whatever they wish, disregarding everything else. A craftsman always respects the customers’ wishes and wants, and to a point knows them beforehand. An artist doesn’t really know what’s expected of him and most likely doesn’t care, but a craftsman knows what’s expected of him and recognizes this fully in his works.
Creativity is something that is associated with inspiration. The word creativity itself is a mockery of craftsmanship, and should be used as little as possible with the words like innovation. For example, if you’re designing something that should go fast on four wheels, you need to take account the aerodynamics, the weight, the wheels themselves and everything that comes with them. You’re not using creativity to solve these issues in your design, but fulfilling the existing needs that the core idea of the design has. Inspiration doesn’t step in at any point; you do what must be done. This is called crafting.
McQuarrie thinks himself as a craftsman rather than as an artist, because he crafts his artworks rather than creates
When I’m doodling something random on a paper I am an artist who works under inspiration. When I’m drawing an image with the fullest intentions of finishing it, I am crafting an artwork, and I work under assumption that what needs to be done to create the image in my head will be done. I might need to stop and solve a problem along the way more than once, but it never consists of creating something via inspiration, it consists going through the tools at hand in order to solve the problems.
You might ask what about something ex tempore, something that’s completely improvised? Improvisation rarely has anything to do with inspiration. For example, a man who is good with situation comedy improvises everything as he goes by. You could call each situation a source of inspiration, but they’re really not. Each situation this comedian pulls out his jokes are sources and the problem to be solved. In an instant he has to craft a comedic pun or a joke.
I’m not against creativity, or inspiration. I’m against the wrong use of the words and their applications in everyday life, in and outside work. A designer who has something to solve, something to design, can’t afford to become creative suddenly. A creative person in this situation would start inventing completely unwanted designs and situations that never existed. A proper designers goes through the material before him and starts to solve the problems what to do design, how to design, and how it would work. They’re all concrete problems that have nothing to do with creativity. A designer has no need for inspiration, no need for a sudden flash of clarity; he might be in need of realization what needs to be done. This is something people mess up.
Inspiration is not a lighting strike that makes thing clear, it’s a realization with existing tools what is the key for a problem. To emphasize; an artist creates, a craftsman crafts. We all are artists first, but we should always aim to become craftsmen.
If you’re drawing one day, but you get no idea what to do draw, you’re thinking that you have no inspiration. You sit there as an artist, looking outside the window. Then, you see a car and realize that it would be awesome to draw that as a robot.
Did you just get a realization for a moment, or an inspiration?