Unexpected inspiration may be closer than you think. In a creative funk? Sometimes there’s just nothing better than spending some quality time with quality people, especially when it is unplanned or unexpected, to center our thoughts and refocus our priorities. Whenever we feel in a rut, we go out searching for that magical thing that will recharge our batteries and give us the extra boost we need to get back on track and kick our productivity into high gear.
For some, it may be meditation. For others, exercise. And some of us might just need to catch a few zzz’s to feel invigorated! For me personally, I like to get outdoors and spend time with friends whenever I feel like I’m hitting a wall. Connecting with nature always leaves me feeling rejuvenated. You never know what kind of unexpected inspiration is lying just around the corner waiting to be discovered.
My nature squad and I enjoy taking “roughly” planned out trips whenever we get the chance. All we need is a general idea of where we are going, our packs, a full tank of gas and we’re all set to head into the wild outdoors! We are all about spontaneity and adventure!
Taking the road less traveled is our forte. We thrive on seizing every opportunity for discovery, regardless of what challenges are thrown our way, whether that be a fallen tree in the middle of the road or a river where our hiking path is supposed to be. The great thing about having a solid group of friends to explore with is having the chance to not only experience cool new places, but overcome the unexpected challenges and obstacles that arise along the way together.
One of my most recent hiking trips in the Laguna Hills proved to be extra special than most. My friends and I were on a new trail we’d never explored before and I was just blown away by the beauty and simplicity of what laid before me. I was reminded that we can find beauty and inspiration in everything every single day if we are open to it.
As we were walking along the path, I discovered a large branch just randomly hanging out in the middle of a field with no trees in sight. It was unexpected and seemed odd and out of place at first, but the longer I looked at it the more I realized it had it’s own sense of rustic unassuming beauty. And there you have it folks – unexpected inspiration!
This made me think of how I feel when I listen to one of my favorite bands, The Lumineers. There is beauty and power in being in the moment and having a great time authentically rather than trying to force a certain experience. Similarly, there is beauty and inspiration to be found in even the most seemingly random and unexpected items we discover in nature. It’s up to us to reinterpret these items and turn them into art!
I walked away from this trip with so much motivation and inspiration – to be more present, to open my eyes more to the little things around me that often go overlooked, and to recognize the importance of stepping out of your own comfort zone and exposing yourself to something new.
When I finally got home, I began to reflect on my long weekend adventure in the woods and all these feelings began to rush over me once again. I had this idea emerging in the back of my mind – one that would combine the power of music and the beauty of nature. I knew I had to get these ideas down on paper before they disappeared, so I grabbed a pencil and my sketchpad and began sketching away! FYI – it is ALWAYS helpful to have taken some pictures on your journey to use later on, whether it’s for reference or just nostalgia.
In the whole process of things, I see the art as being the ‘book cover’ – a single image representing all the ideas and narrative behind it. For example, in this Lumineers project, the largest part of the process was being out there on a hike with my buds like a few hobbits running around the Shire. This was where the ideas spawned, evolved, and drove me towards the final deliverables. Yes, I could just muster up a tree shape, narrative, and theme, but without a strong foundation for these ideas, the piece may fall short and not do justice for this awesome moment of unexpected inspiration.
Inspiration can strike at any moment, but unexpected inspiration is even more rare. Our ability to feel inspired isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. There’s no exact formula. No rhyme or reason. It’s unique to the individual, and as long as you are open to new possibilities, the possibilities to create something new are endless!
No matter what you do, I would encourage you to continue moving forward with your eyes and heart open – to new ideas, new adventures, new possibilities. Take advantage of those special moments and explore different ways to reinterpret and reimagine. Only time will tell what unexpected inspiration is about to come your way.
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