This will make more sense if you first read part one of my music discourse, along with this article on David Cope’s software creation, Emily Howell.

So the natural yang to the yin I proposed in the previous post is that there must be something special to the creative process. Some spark, something magical. If you imagine that the creative process is simply a mechanical detection and rearrangement of patterns, then it ceases to be exactly that – creative. We do want to believe that the creative process incorporates feeling and an attempt to describe the deepest human emotions and observations…in other words, the creative process of necessity must have that human element. Or so the argument goes.

I don’t know that I am convinced either way, but there is certainly something to be said for inspiration. I feel like I must have written about inspiration before, as it means a significant deal to me personally, but I cannot find anything specific about it except my hinting at it in this post.

Anya’s Modest Theory of Inspiration: When creating a work of art, the artist must have something that he/she wants to express. This is the message. There also must be honesty. Great art must be honest – a work that others can see/hear/experience and resonate with, because it expresses feelings and ideas that are universal. If I experience an emotion, and express it honestly through a poem, others will feel resonance and release of their emotion being expressed through my words. Because ultimately, we are all the same. This is where inspiration comes in. The appearance of a message that you desperately want to share, bonded with the near-miraculous ability to share that message in a way that touches others; this is inspiration.

Without inspiration you don’t have a truthful or meaningful piece of art. Even in pop music, you have those one-hit wonders. I would argue that this was the moment when the artist had something to say, and they sang their heart out. And the world loved them. But then, well, they were invited to continue writing, saying things, singing them, when actually, they had nothing else to say. So quickly they slipped back into oblivion.

I love the word “inspiration”. It is so revelatory. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the archaic definitions of “inspire” is “to infuse (as life) by breathing”. Another definition is simply “inhale”.

When God, the Creator (with a capital C), created Adam, whether literally or metaphorically, He made him from dust, from the particles of the Earth, and then He infused life into him, by breathing . God inspired Adam. Literally!!! And to me, this is the perfect representation of what the creative process really is. You take something from dust, in other words, raw materials, patterns, the underpinnings of what makes art art, and you breathe life into that matter. You are first inspired by God, and then you take that inspiration and breathe it into your work. Then your work is True. Then it says something important. And only then does it leave a lasting impression on the world.