Zacharia Wilson

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Inspiration is found in a change of perception.

People often ask me what it is that inspires my art, these whimsical words I write, and I’ve decided to share my secret so all may see what I see; perceive as I perceive.

When I first began writing, I, too, had problems finding inspiration. Sure, strong emotions and vivid images could stir something within my poetic soul, and I would write a poem. But what was it that was stirred within me; what actually was the inspiration?

I pondered this for a long time, while pushing through the fog of writer’s block and trying to scratch out a few semi-decent poems worth the time it took to create them. As I did this I searched my world for inspiring things; amazing photos on the internet, successful authors practiced words, but while I could feel inspired by these things, I still was not in control of my inspiration, and thus knew I wasn’t in control of my writing.

Eventually I had an breakthrough. I described my lack of inspiration as a fog, and I realized that a fog is exactly what it is; and what does fog do but blur your perception of the world. And thus I realized that the problem I had wasn’t a lack of inspiring things in the world around me, but in the way I viewed the world. And so I created a challenge for myself.

Whenever I was seeking inspiration, instead of looking for grand images, I cast my gaze to the world around me and picked a random item. I would then study this item, every minute detail I could see; all the ways I imagined it interacting with it’s surroundings, how it might have gotten there. Anything and everything I could imagine about it. I would study this item until I found something in it that struck me as beautiful, and then I would write a poem about it.

Obviously this was not an easy thing to do at first, but I persevered and eventually it became easier. After a while, you find yourself doing it even when you aren’t writing, and then, if you do it long enough, you’ll begin to see the beauty that is in everything around us.

Thank you

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    Jan 15 2012: The perception you describe is done with the senses. I was wondering if it is possible to create without senses?
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      Jan 15 2012: It makes use of the senses, but the inspiration comes from an introspective knowledge of what you think is beautiful, and it's your mental perception of what your senses show you, not the physical entity, that creates the art. However I can't really think of a way of creating art without the senses as I consider art to be an imitation of life, and if you can't experience life, then I'd imagine that it would be rather difficult to produce art. Pretty much the only inspiration you could draw from without your senses would be your own mental dialogue, but as I've never experienced that sensation I could not say for sure that it would inspire art. Not to mention that if you didn't have use of your senses you would have to rely on the possibility of you reaching a state of mental maturity necessary to create art without any guidance or influences. All in all I won't say that it would be impossible outright, but at best it would be immensely difficult and may not reach social standards of art even upon its creation.
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    Jan 14 2012: Excellent perception =)