Some insights in an article in today's Observer on inspiration (led there via Rob Annable's mobile phone). Leaving aside the hefty preamble there's a few snippets I found interesting. Predictably, I enjoyed contributions from Will Alsop and Steve Reich:
"Inspiration cannot be relied on and it certainly cannot be waited for. Those who announce that they are sitting and waiting for some imagined thunderbolt to arrive as if from nowhere are deluding themselves and us of their capability and talent. Inspiration or insight, for me, comes from working. Admittedly this can take the form of staring at a blank page for hours, but more often it occurs because I am adding noise to the system. Noise takes the form of making marks, often not understood, with paint, print or anything close to hand in order to exercise the imagination. My work does not start with logic as this can be acquired later; it comes from desire. When there is sufficient noise in the system, I can sometimes walk through the space in a dream. I do not believe in creativity - it sounds too close to God - but I do in inspiration. It is a wonderful feeling and worth celebrating with a good claret." [Will Alsop]
"The more hours I put in sitting in front of the piano or the computer actually trying to compose, the more inspiration occurs. It rarely happens unless I'm actually hearing the sounds I am working on. It's the sounds themselves, the chords, the harmonic progressions that inspire me. And when I come up with a great one, then the inspiration leaps out at me. I agree with Thomas Edison: he said it's 99 per cent perspiration and 1 per cent inspiration. Basically if you put in the time focusing on your work, there's a chance inspiration will strike." [Steve Reich]
It's like a bumper Rodcorp 'How We Work' session.