The Value of Inspiration

I’ve never claimed to be a visual artist.

I tried, mind you, when I was young, just as all children try their hands at drawing and painting. At the end of the day, though, while my drawing was a bit of an obsession for a while, my true sensitivity turned out to be auditory in nature, not visual. I think that’s why I’m a writer, because I hear the sounds of the words on the page the way they would be spoken. I’m just visual enough to do layout designs, which I’ve done in print and on the web, and I’ve done some scenic design work for the stage. I’ve done some lighting design, as well, but to draw or paint something beautiful on a blank canvas…that’s just not my gift.

Still, I’ve been friends with a great many visual artists over the course of my life, and I know how to appreciate the visual mediums. I’ve developed a taste for “what I like,” and Karen and I have occasional fun matching our disparate tastes in visual ¬†aesthetics into a cohesive interior design. I find visual art inspiring for my writing. I’ve found some visual work on Tumblr that had a great impact on the character development of a major character in my work-in-progress.

I was thinking about this along the lines of when I see steampunk art or cosplays. I’ve never read anything in the genre, but seeing the art makes me want to read the genre. In fact, seeing the art makes me want to try my hand at writing it, as well, at some point in the future.

All that to say, it’s wonderful to see how one medium informs another. Our inspiration has to come not only from within our own medium or even our own genre, but from wildly different ones, as well.

Go looking. Stay inspired.

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