by Amy Bauernschub Amy
Do you ever wonder what inspired the great inventions? Did Edison stub his toe on the way to the bathroom one night and come up with the schematic for the incandescent light while nursing his sore toe by candlelight? Can you imagine the man who invented television, my personal favorite invention, sitting up in the middle of the night, too tired to read but unable to sleep, dreaming up the idea of television?
Many creative people sleep with paper next to their beds, so if they come up with an incredible idea during the night they can write it down. Imagine how many of those people try to read their notes the next morning saying “What was I thinking?”
Do you wonder what inspired Andy Warhol to make silk screens of cans of soup? Maybe instead of looking at his idea pad, he picked up his shopping list. Either way, he was successful.
Over the past year or so, my inspirations, like the economy, have been slow to come. Yet, I have good news for you all…I have become inspired again, so maybe the economy is going to follow suit.
I would like to share a few lessons I have learned with you on my journey to creative inspiration. It may inspire you or, hopefully, make you chuckle.
I, too, sleep with a pad by my bed, just in case I get inspired in the middle of the night. I often wake up to find notes scribbled on my pad that I either can’t read (probably because I didn’t use Mr. Edison’s invention when I wrote it) or the notes don’t make sense. There are those times when I wake up with a fantastic idea which will save mankind, or make me my first million–which, of course, I don’t write down because they are way too good to forget. Then I can’t remember those ideas, only that they were brilliant.
So lesson number one on my journey: write or sketch everything down on paper. Sometimes when I review those notes and I have no idea what I was thinking, but sometimes I do. Of course, I still forget to write those brilliant ideas down. Remember I am still on the learning curve.
Lately, my real cathartic moments have been going through old pictures. As a child, I drew, sculpted, or created something all day, every day. There are photos of me, the last child sitting at the table because I would not eat, with a sculpture of mashed potatoes on my plate. There are other photos of landscapes I made spreading my meal out so it looked like I ate it.
I think my mother, who has a great appreciation for art, probably took these pictures because no one would believe the great lengths I would go to not finish my dinner.
I was not choosy about what medium I used to create my masterpieces. My tool of choice was usually crayon, but I was not afraid to experiment. For my first mural, at age two, I used marigolds to paint flowers on the walls. (For anyone who doesn’t know, marigolds don’t wash off and can take two coats of primer to cover.)
I had to sit in the corner as punishment. I never minded sitting in the corner because I would try to find pictures in the linoleum tiles. Sometimes I would stay after the ‘time out’ was over to find more pictures. My parents had to think of other punishments. As I got older, I still drew, or sculpted every day. Many notes were sent home from school because I doodled in a book, or instead of doing worksheets. My creativity helped me meet my husband. One of the first conversations I had with him was about a doodle of a teacher I had made in my notes. Lesson number two, doodling can lead to great things, even dates with handsome men.
I choose accounting as a career path–not to be creative with the books, but because it was the 80s and I wanted money. After work, I would always be creating something. I would either sculpting with food or drawing something on napkins at Happy Hour or drawing at home.
As work became more stressful, I found solace in my art. Time has passed and I have chosen to leave accounting and become an artist. As an artist, I stalled my creativity because I haven’t had any jobs. This is when I learned my third lesson: Remember what makes you happy.
For me, it is being creative. Therefore, my inspiration for creativity is to be happy. I hope that it will pay off for me in the end. Good luck in this economy, please don’t let it keep you from expressing your creativity.
Amy Bauernschub Amy has a wit that can carry off the name “Amy Amy” with charm. After all she named her painting company amysquared.com. She will be our regular Bright Side columnist. You can share uplifting stories about your painting life with amy at: Amy at amysquared dot com.
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Mark Nordgren says
Great article Amy! So true about capturing ideas. As Earl Nightingale says you need to gaff them with a pencil before they dissolve, never to be seen again. I am a big fan of journaling and filling up legal pads with ideas.
Funny article Amy. Thank you.
I often leave a notepad by the bed so i can capture my ideas and dreams before they fly away! Also i have a notepad in my purse to do the same thing. If i don’t have a pad handy then i write notes on my hands. Whatever works. I’ve made art with the ideas i had written in a notebook from 2 years ago………so you see this habit really does pay off.