Article: Finding Your Muse

When we talk about the muse, the first thing that pops up in our heads usually is somehow associated with old poetry or classical paintings. Back in time, having a muse was usually considered almost a must for any artist. Quite often, muses were believed to be beautiful women or even some god-like spirits that kept creators inspired. They would visit them for a short period of time, help them create some of their best work, and then leave them waiting for another encounter. However, as the pace of our everyday life grows rapidly, waiting for the muse can become not only frustrating but also damaging to our creative work. So how about we go and find our muses instead, shall we?

Muse is Surroundings

Sometimes the muse hides in the most obvious places. Just take a minute and slowly look around yourself. The room you are sitting in, the crowded cafe, the autumn slowly taking over nature. Take a pen, a sheet of paper and write down what you see. Do not overwhelm yourself. Pick one object instead and write about it for five or ten minutes. Learn from your surroundings. We are pretty sure you will be surprised to find out how different the world looks after this short exercise.

Anything that makes me turn my head like a confused dog inspires me. Because if you are questioning, you are thinking. Like the first time you hear Jimi Hendrix, as a kid, you think, “What am I listening to?” You begin to learn about solos, rock, soul, fuzz, and just those things can send you down a 50-year rabbit hole of trying to find out how you can do something like that. I can get inspired by flowers, the beach, architecture, and even my hate for those annoyingly loud exhaust pipes. The more I expand my mind on inspiration, the more options I have let things seep in,” – says our community member, electronic music producer Josh Spoon.

Muse is People

Other people always challenge us, evoke emotions and broaden our views. This is why in this technology-driven world, it becomes crucial not to lose human touch and connection. Try to go out alone once in a while and observe people in their daily routines. How are they different from yours? If you feel like it, walk up to someone you find interesting and have a short conversation about art or anything that challenges you at that moment. Many creators say that they prefer sharing their ideas and concerns with people they don’t know, as this opens up a space for not yet explored possibilities to overcome their current artistic struggles.  

I’m not really sure where I look for inspiration, but I think I find it in older generations (I’m 56) that are still actively engaged in technical creation, regardless of the tools and methods they use. My colleague Val certainly is an inspiration to me. Actually, companies like Blokas are an inspiration to me. There are all these cool little (some not so little) companies like Blokas, UUGear, Prusa, pjrc and then all the crazy stuff from seeed studio that are really changing the face of electronics and how you go from having some idea of making a machine to interact with the actual physical world (as opposed to pure sw solutions),”  – Stephen Hicks, Orcasound.

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Muse is Art

You will never go wrong by learning from other field professionals and their works. It is not a secret that many famous artworks were inspired by other artists’ works. So, think of your favorite paintings, sculptures, films, or music. Ask yourself questions. What do you like about them the most? What intrigues you? How do these creations make you feel? The answers will guide you and help you find new creative paths and solutions. However, it is important to remember that being inspired by art does not equal copying it. Take something you like, use the emotion it evokes, and create something unique.

I get inspired by art of all kinds. I love going to museums and seeing what people can do if they just focus… and get a monthly stipend from the Catholic Church in the 1500s. The painting takes way more talent and patience than most of us have or have to deal with using DAWs and gear. So if they can do that with rudimentary tools, what’s my excuse? In 2010, I went to Paris and Barcelona. I saw the works of Miró, Gaudí, and Dalí, for the first time up close, and that actually caused me to dive deeper into music and move to L.A., imploding my life and career in Texas. Man, music is my heart. I make a Spotify playlist to categorize my feelings, to learn better chord progressions, even getting specific tones for my music. If you listen to enough music and try to understand it, you can borrow from so many sources you don’t have to fret on being “original” but make music that moves and connects,” – Josh Spoon.

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Muse is… You!

You and your experiences. So never forget to reflect on your creative path. As cheesy as it might sound, start writing a diary. If you find it hard to think of what to write, ask yourself one question a day and answer it on paper. What is your best memory? Which one is your worst? What made you feel the happiest or saddest? How did you change after these experiences and events? Never forget, you always have the muse within you. Just don’t forget to take care of it and allow it to flourish. 

I guess I have made music and art everyday for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid so I never really look for inspiration it just happens but I think I was taught to do this or was never untaught to do it so it’s just my usual state, a regular human state I think. But things that are important in my work and that its situated deep within are: ideas about making culture yourself and with the people around you, wanting to bring things into being collaboratively with other people whether with music or other projects, gardening and watching things grow, watching how my kids do things, reading spy novels, science fiction, books about mushrooms, lots of things actually!” – David Birchall, Noise Orchestra.

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Where do you find your muse? Share your tips on finding the muse in the comment section below. 🙌

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