The sensation you get of goosebumps under your skin, and a shiver running up your spine that you just can't quite shake out. That shiver buzzes through the body up to your mind and electrifies some part of your brain that instills an urge to something. At that moment I find myself feeling invincible and badly wanting to sink my teeth in to projects or ideas.
We're in a social media world where inspirational and motivational pictures and quotes are thrown around like skittles in that 'everything I touch turns into Skittles' advert, but inspiration goes further than a quote or meme that resonates with you.
I thought I'd try to put into words a few of the things that inspire me and inspire others close to me. The first you might have actually seen at the top of my Blog Page before.
'A wise man once said that to be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, where wise people are diligent.'
When I started my first blog page on blogspot years and years ago (it was around 2005 I think) I had a quick search for a 'wise crack' inspirational quote to head it up. I'd left a graphic design job a few years before where I'd regularly be writing copy for magazine articles or little snippets of lore for fantasy stories and I started the blog page to persuade and inspire me to keep writing. That quote was one of the first I came across. It's just a collection of words but it still manages to make me smile today and reminds me, in simple terms, not to be idle. Back in 2005 those words kept me coming back to my blog almost as if I had a 'need' to read it again. I kept posting and as I picked up my camera again it evolved in to a photography blog page. Ultimately it evolved to where I am today. After all these years that quote still makes me smile and when I read it it gives me that shiver that makes me want to create.
If you ask anyone what inspires them, an answer you'll hear regularly is a time that relates to childhood. Be that their children that inspire them or a moment or time from their childhood. I grew up with my grandfather building a 1935 Frazernash and my dad building 'Baby' Bugatti Type 52's. I'd watch in awe as parts were fabricated and created. Growing up in an environment of 'we could make/build/mend that' has clearly influenced my lifestyle now. There's always something I can 'make' or 'create'. My current list of things I need to make is getting longer by the day and isn't helped by finding edison lightbulbs available very cheaply on eBay!
But why do so many people draw inspiration from their childhood? I don't know. I've no idea. Experiences and influences during your childhood must be so deep set in our psych that we hold on to times that made us happy, and our parenting instinct fills us with enough inspiration to push us further than we ever thought possible. A good friend of mine writes tens of thousands of words a week for car magazines so that his children can have the best of what he can provide. He regularly sites her as his inspiration and I know many of others who do also.
I spend a great deal of my time writing down creative thoughts and there's always ideas buzzing around inside my head. Beyond family there're certain artists and people's work that inspires me to keep challenging myself. I'm lucky enough to consider calling some of the world's leading automotive photographers friends, and their work is always going to be a little poke and reminder of where I want to be. There are others, though, whose work and life can't help but give me goosebumps. A podcast I did (you can have a listen here if you like...) with a good friend and business partner of mine, Ashley Kalym, regularly discussed inspiration and we recorded almost an entire episode on the first of a few films that I'd like to end this post by sharing with you. These are some of my favourite music and movies that I regularly listen to when I'm in a creative mood (or when I want to try to get into one).
As we mentioned in the podcast, Christopher (it must be the name!) Nolan and Hans Zimmer are absolutely at the top of their game right now. We talked about how Nolan tried to influence Hans Zimmer's creative process to create an incredible moving score to an incredible film. When I'm either listening to just the soundtrack or watching Nolan's latest film, Interstellar, I find myself riding a wave of creativity.
When it comes to films about people at their peak, they don't come much better than the last film I'm going to leave you with. A few years ago, a photographer in America, Chase Jarvis, interviewed Travis Rice, a snowboarder who told us about a film he'd made with Redbull called The Art of Flight.
He spoke about the film with such passion and enthusiasm I almost felt obliged to watch it out of politeness. Wow! I cannot recommend this enough. I've attached the Redbull trailer below for you to watch, but pick up a copy on Bluray or DVD on Amazon and sit back and watch as five friends who are at the very top of their game show us just how fearless and phenomenal we can be. Jumping out of a helicopter to ride slopes that have never been ridden and one particular moment when Travis pretty much free falls down a vertical snow covered cliff face with a snowboard. It's incredbile. Awe-inspiring. And if it doesn't make you want to push yourself to create something or provide for someone special then you may very well be, to quote Robin Williams in Hook, a two-toned zebra-headed, slime-coated, pimple-farmin' paramecium brain. 😊
For now, though, here's the trailer for The Art of Flight! Give it a watch, you'll thank me at the end. And, if you're anything like me, you'll buy all the albums from the artists that are on the soundtrack... listening to that music takes me right back to the feel good feeling I get from watching that film!
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and I'd love to hear what inspires you in your life.
Leave a comment below or find me on Facebook or Twitter, my links are at the bottom of this website.
...and if you haven't seen Hook, watch that too!