Inspiration is fleeting.  The key to understanding is how to identify, capture, record, research, and implement (ICRRI).  This process has taken decades to develop.  The template of creativity contorts and shifts with time.  Understanding its value is the challenge.  Inspiration can be a beautiful and overwhelming concept.

When inspiration enters, it can be obvious or subtle.  I’ve found it to appear through various manifestations such as an internal whisper to watching a movie on an airplane.  As a result, the pattern is that there is no pattern.  The task is to identify its existence with no judgments allowed.  Keep the inspiration clear of all mental clutter.

Water, Tianmu Canyon, China.
Water, Tianmu Canyon, China.

The intent is to capture inspiration in its pure state.  This is difficult without one’s bias and life’s experiences seeping in to judge.  I visualize inspiration as a floating orb that can absorb its surroundings quickly and disappear.  Capturing is inconvenient and illogical.

In and out.
In and out.

Record the idea at its moment of conception immediately through a physical action such as writing.  This acknowledges its existence to your creative world.  It’s a rite of passage that demands that it be revisited.  No idea is stupid or frivolous.  The final intent is still unknown.  The thought might serve as a small stone to a structure we call home.


Now it’s time to highlight an idea and press the research button.  The “art geek” steps in through reading and writing.  Maybe visiting a museum, calling an expert, and keeping notes occur.  Without investigation, the idea falls short and develops prematurely.


Questions enter on how to implement the idea.  Does my skill set match what is needed for the concept?  Would a different medium work?  What part of the project needs outside assistance?  Consider these answers and start working.  If the results don’t match the vision, maybe the ideas need altering.  Try again, again, and again.


Has the inspiration changed and taken a new form?  Don’t mourn the time invested in an idea that doesn’t result in an immediate success.  The world is a big place with different opinions.  Finding the right match might not be at your current location.

A time warp...

Last November, slowly started learning the Chinese language.  Exercising at 5:30 am listening to Chinese, I started to visualize what the process of studying a foreign language looked liked on the brain.  Through research, I discovered that learning an additional language delays dementia.  Also, the brain can change shape with new knowledge.  When a cell fires as an electrical signal passes through it, a path is created, revisited, or altered.



The Translate series explores how to identify, capture, record, research, and implement (ICRRI) this new experience.  What new forms and paths it will take is unknown.  What is known is that I’m open to the possibilities.

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