This site is about seeking out the source of inspiration. In many posts and stories to which we link, we present the assumption that there is an almost scientific approach to inspiration possible by paying attention to and recounting the moments when inspiration strikes.
Yesterday, I experienced the other side of that. Doing my daily pop-culture research, I found a video for a Disney short called Paperman that blew my mind. At the moment of having my mind blown, I became very aware of what was happening. I recognized the feeling of being awestruck. Of being–not quite impressed, but knocked off my own thought path.
As you can tell if you scan the frequency of the posts here on Hunting, I've been in a rut. The subject of my work has shifted and it's been much more executional. I've spent the same time seeking out inspiration, but I've been off course.
Seeing this short awakened something for me.
Yes, I was inspired by it. The lighting, the direction are beautiful and atmospheric. So on a technical level, I appreciate the achievement of creating hand-drawn animation that has a soul and presenting a story that draws you in. I suddenly felt young.
Then I felt mad. At about the halfway point of the video I felt a wave of self-loathing overcome me. I recognized this feeling. This story was so well done, I was jealous that I hadn't created it. Petty? Maybe.
But it motivated me. For the first time in a while, I felt something welling up. I was reminded of a list of projects I wanted to work on, beyond the many that I am professionally obligated to work on. I had a new sense of vision for them, the possibilities felt both limitless and suddenly very structured. I was euphoric.
And this was from watching a short cartoon, that I stumble on by accident. My day turned around instantly. Projects that had been idle (including this one?) suddenly had new life breathed into them.
Part of the reason for the lull in posts here on Hunting is the realization that we had been working our way towards joining the vast internet echo chamber. Slapping each others' backs and congratulating people again for work that had been shared and lauded elsewhere. I read a lot of sites that participate in this, and others that are the fuel for finding this work, and some are truly contributing to the dialogue beyond the hollow continuum of high-fives.
The mission of this site is to better understand creativity and how it happens. I stopped posting to examine the best way to approach that. Thanks to the feeling I got from this short, I think I understand now.