My Top 5 Inspirations

My Top 5 Inspirations

This is a piece to all artists out there.  It’s dedicated to anyone who ever feels the urge to create something, anyone who has ever stayed up all night needing to get something done for themselves.  Simply put, this is for anyone who’s ever felt the warm touch of inspiration.

Inspiration is one of the most important things in this world.  Some of the world’s greatest creations wouldn’t exist if inspiration didn’t hit people out of the blue and give them the idea to do what they did.  It’s inexplicable at times, and where it comes from is a bit of a mystery, but the fact remains that you know when it hits you.  You get the urge to paint or write or just do something that fits your needs.  But inspiration is tricky, and the things that inspire some people don’t always, and will not always, inspire others.  The sensation itself is as individual as the people that feel it.  Now obviously, I can’t climb inside your heads and figure out who inspires who, but I can give you a short list of some of the people who inspire me!  And by doing this, I hope that you (the reader) find some form of inspiration from my own words.  When you think about it, this is all one giant circle that flows through the world.  Now let’s begin, shall we?

1. Edgar Allen Poe

Maybe not the most celebrated writer of all time, or the most successful, but Mr. Poe is hands down, without a doubt, my favourite writer of all time.  Though I’m not familiar with all of his works, my particular favourite will always be The Raven.  The darkness of his tone and the symbolism used in the poetry captured my heart from the time I was a child and kick-started my desire to write.  I’m not sure exactly why it happened, but the truth is I don’t care.  I fell in love with those words and I still care about them to this day.  Don’t ask me to defend what’s on there, and don’t ask me what other pieces he’s written, my answers will be fairly limited.  All I know is that when I hear the words, “Once upon a midnight dreary,” my mind perks up and the corners of my mouth turn upwards.

2.  Ludwig von Beethoven

Maybe not so much anymore, but for a while everyone knew the intro to his Fifth Symphony.  The classic, “DUN DUN DUN DUUUUNN!!” that booms over intensive parts of movies and television shows.  If you live under a rock and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I urge you to go to YouTube immediately and listen to it.  But that’s not why Beethoven inspires me the way he does.  He was born and lived in a time when everyone was obsessed with the proper ways of society.  Everyone of wealth tried to be polite, wearing wigs was a big thing (for some reason), and those who didn’t abide by the norms of society were looked down upon by everyone else.  Beethoven didn’t abide by these norms.  Any musical historian will tell you that he was pretty insane, at least compared to the rest of society.  But despite what was going on, he just continued to do what he loved and wrote one piece of music after another.  He had no idea how he was going to be remembered, no one back then did, they simply did what they did because they loved doing it.  If you can take anything away from this stone-deaf composer, it’s that you’ll never know how you’ll be remembered or what’ll happen to what you’ve done down the line.  So create what you want to create.  Make what you want to make, and don’t ever regret letting the art flow out of you, even if you don’t see eye to eye with everyone around you.

3. Allen Moore

Writer of such classics like The Watchmen and V for Vendetta, Allen Moore is a master of symbolism and plotting out everything that needs to be in a story.  His characters stand as metaphors for what he’s trying to write and his plotlines always represent something in the world, particularly something that he himself feels strongly about.  It’s entirely possible to delve too deeply into what a writer is doing and believe that you’re seeing something when you’re not, but in Moore’s case there’s obviously much-hidden symbolism going on.  It’s because of this that he ranks very high on my list of inspirational people.  Anyone who can look at the rat-maze that is modern day and turn out what he’s able to come up is, in my opinion, slightly revolutionary.

4.  Leonardo Da Vinci

In my opinion, the most famous, “Jack-of-all-trades,” of all time is Leonard Da Vinci.  This guy painted, invented, theorized, and came up with blueprints for ideas that are still being made today.  It’s been said that Da Vinci was 500 years ahead of his time, probably because he designed parachutes, tanks, planes and a ton of other things that were invented centuries down the line.  This guy shows me that dreaming is never a bad thing.  He didn’t have the resources he needed at the time, but his visions came to fruition and he’s credited with being one of the most brilliant minds in modern history because of it.  He didn’t know what we were going to turn into or where society was going to go; he was just a brilliant man who felt like he could benefit everyone.  Often it doesn’t matter what everyone else is thinking about what you’re doing, what matters at the end of the day is what you think of yourself.  Not everyone is going to agree with you, but that’s okay.  Everything you come up with may not be embraced in the next hundred years, or even the next two hundred, but that doesn’t mean it will be left on the side for all of eternity.  At the end of the day just create what you want to create.  Who knows, any one of us could be 500 years ahead of our time.  No one knows what’ll happen in 500 years.

5.  Myself

There will be no name for the fifth point on this list, because there isn’t one final person that does inspire me.  It’s going to sound a little cheesy, and maybe a bit self-centred, but this is the truth, and it feels like a truth everyone should embrace.  One person who inspires me is myself.  We can never be someone else, we can only ever be ourselves, so at the end of the day you just have to be yourself.  You have to accept who you are, embrace what you can do, and then just go out and do it.  You have to be your own inspiration.  You have to look in the mirror and accept what you’re seeing, and then make everyone see it.  Don’t wait around for the next day or the time when you’ll be ready to do something.  The whole change starts with you, so get up and go do it.  Everyone gets afraid, everyone gets nervous, but the important thing is to accept that and push past it.  Everyone has the potential within them; it’s just a matter of letting it show.

Obviously my inspirations are based within the arts, but there are a ton of other fields out there for people to express their work.  So if you’re a chemist then follow your scientific heart.  If you love breaking a sweat then do as many sports as possible.  Or if you’re passion in life is literally as simple as being a garbage man then…well, it’s not my cup of tea, but go out and collect other people’s waste.  You only have the one life to live, so live it the way you want to.  At the end of the day you’re doing it for you, not someone else.


A young writer, novelist, and playwright from Ottawa, Dave Coleman covers topics like books & literature, theatre, and the arts.

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