MAKE & THANKS: INSPIRATION (AN OBSERVATION CHALLENGE)
I have been a creator for as long as I can remember. It’s a part of who I am. As soon as I saw the opportunity to compose an article for the Wake to Thank series I jumped right on! The thing is, I didn’t expect it to be so difficult for me.
It’s obvious to me that making cultivates gratitude in me, but pinpointing specifically how was the hard part. I thought about it for days, prayed about it and nothing. Finally, I asked my husband about it and he showed me a quote from one of our favorite creatives - Bono. The quote comes from U2’s The Fly lyrics, “Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief.” When I first read this I was a little disturbed. Cannibal? Thief? When I went back and reread the quote I understood it’s true meaning. That every maker no matter their form takes a little piece from every creative that inspires them. They use other artists as inspiration, direction and most importantly as a teacher. I can’t help be be grateful for this community that comes from making!
Specifically, this quote makes me think of my own artistic process. I have never been an artist who can just pick up her pencil and go. I need to talk it through, look to other creatives for inspiration, brainstorm and pray about it like mad. When we think of artists our mindset is far too limited. We think of painters, musicians and sculptures. Rarely do we stop to think about the chefs who prepare food for the hungry; mothers and fathers who create a safe and fun environment for their families; construction workers who labor to build something beautiful; authors who compose their thoughts in a way that entertains and inspires us; let alone the man who created them all. In my own creative process God is essential. I have said before and I’ll say it again, the quality of my work and my relationship with God go hand in hand.
“Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief.”
God guides our every encounter, our every inspiration. He leads us to the makers that will inspire and challenge us. For me this maker is my husband. When we met he always told me how he was the least creative person he knew. Now, after six years of being he is best friend I know how wildly wrong he was! When we started dating he was in Oregon and I was in Washington, this meant many phone calls, texts and especially letters. Every week I got a new and exciting letter from him, each one was unique and so precious! Among my favorites was the scrabble dictionary with a key to find each word in the letter and a beautiful card with the words “I love you” in cursive with glue and the sand from Oregon beaches instead of glitter. I bring up these examples up because there is something to be said about his creative influence on me and how God has guided us together through making. It is such a testament to God’s perfect design for his children. This article alone goes to show that! It was God that brought us together, God that led me to ask Brian for help and God that inspired the maker in Brian to “steal” Bono’s words and inspire me.
Creativity encourages me, moves me, challenges me and grows me. Most of all creativity cultivates pure gratitude in me. If it weren’t for the artists that I “cannablize”, the poets I “steal” from and the God who created them all I could never function as maker. It is this community that makes me so grateful to be a maker!
I challenge you to look around yourself and Identify your creative community. Who are the people, the artists, the makers who inspire you? Consider why they inspire you and thank them for it - whether they are famous of family! Simply recognizing the impact they have had on your creative journey goes a long way in cultivated gratitude through making.
Dusty is a maker of many forms. Lately, she has been focusing on her custom longboard shop the most. Dusty loves when art is also functional & provides this incredibly well for her customers. She enjoys cooking and baking for the same reasons. Dusty & her husband are welcoming their first little one into the world this coming April. Together they live in the rainy and green Pacific Northwest and they never plan to leave it! You can find more of Dusty's work at www.throwingpinecones.com.