Thomas Byttebier

Freelance digital designer

Interfaces, UX, web sites

Inspiration is for amateurs

American artist Chuck Close on the topic of inspiration:

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.

I first read this quote a few months ago and it changed my attitude on those days when I don’t feel creative. There’s no such thing as a designer’s block. Quit the excuses, show up and just get to work.