The Strange Places From Which We are Inspired (or Possessed?)
August 12, 2011 | ~2 mins read time.
Robert Plant on a Hill
Robert Plant on a hill.

I was looking through some old photos, photos of drawings, and other related items today and found this picture of a watercolour painting I'd done back in Grade 11 or 12 (I was 15 or 16). I was reminded once again how to be appreciative of those things that inspire us to do anything.

The image I used as the basis for the painting was in a book about Led Zeppelin. We'd done an exercise in class where we'd take a black and white or faded image and convert it to full colour. I enjoyed it so much that I used it frequently at home for the hell of it. I came across this image of Robert Plant playing guitar on a Welsh hillside beneath a weeping willow with few leaves on it and this grand old house in the background. It was in colour, but very faded. The immediate result was the painting above.

Inspiration from one photograph in a book about a band I wasn't necessarily interested in. However, that same photograph, my painting experience afterward, and the resulting watercolour left me wondering if any of the music this man had a hand in creating would be as inspiring or if it would say as much as the photo had. It isn't possible to articulate in this short space the reasoning for the path I went down. The experience led me to listen more closely to the musical works of Led Zeppelin. They eventually became my favourite band.

The point of "rambling on" right now is that inspiration for anything sometimes comes from the strangest of unlooked for places. Sometimes, we'll see or hear something that makes us try another thing out, and the activities involved from one stage to the next have nothing really to do with the other. Sometimes, we call the influence inspiration if it winds up being a good thing and other times we call the influence "possession" if the end result happens to be bad. Regardless of the outcome, these moments really are a good thing. They are part of how we learn, and too often we take them for granted.

Take a minute or two to appreciate your inspirations or possessions - you can't go wrong.