Inspiration comes from the Latin “inspiratio” which literally means “breathe on” and originally represented inspiration as something divine, like a breath that descends on the person who receives it.
In this sense we usually speak in the Bible of inspiration from the Prophets or the Apostles.
In ancient Greece the concept took on more artistic characteristics: there were indeed nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory) to each of them an art was associated and which, until recent times, are indicated as a source of inspiration for the artists.
Over the time I realized that inspiration is never completely created, even if it can be seen as a descent from above, it also means “stealing” ideas from others. Not necessarily only in the same filed but also from others.
I find it very interesting to be able to bring into the world of lutherie inspirations that come from other fields, be they artistic (cinema, photography, sculpture, painting, music itself …) or production (automotive, hi-end audio, watches … ).
Obviously these external inputs are filtered by our experience, by the people we know, by the emotions we felt. In fact, one of the most interesting things about events such as the Boutique Guitar Showcase is the fact that each instrument is almost the mirror of who made it, there is his experience, his way of seeing the world.
Personally I think it is essential to be in the right mood, observing simple things, to travel with open heart and mind, which is why for the ancient Greeks the Muses are daughters of Memory …
It would be important to be able to surround yourself with beauty, or rather what arouses emotions and moods favorable to us. An Italian journalist, Peppino Impastato, said that “people should be educated in beauty: so that habit and resignation no longer creep into men and women, but curiosity and amazement always remain alive”. And this constant curiosity helps a lot in the creative process: experimenting with new materials or techniques can open up new possibilities and lead to unexpected results.
Personally, this inspiration finds its peak when I have to create unique pieces not on commission. Obviously, even in the latter there is a creative part but in any case it is a matter of translating the customer’s ideas and requests.
The white palette obviously remains the most challenging and at the same time most difficult area, although it generally has less pressing deadlines than the made-to-order instruments.
Personally I am not afraid to dare even if sometimes I have taken loud slaps and in retrospect I tell myself that I would have done better to stay within the sown, even if I fall back on it…
One of the things that I realized in this strange time is that Fear kills creativity. All kinds of fear: fear of being judged, fear of making mistakes, fear of not being up to the situation, fear of what is unknown, fear of the different.
One of the most sadly interesting things in this unusual period was the fact that the forced isolation and fear of the virus have also slowed, if not stopped, many creative processes that during other times would have emerged much more easily. I am sure that we will reap the positive rewards of this period in some time.
I don’t give precise rules to find inspiration, I don’t think there is a magical and unique formula that is good for everyone, even if a piece of advice may be to train inspiration. I recommend trying every day to “create something”, even very simple. Many times it will not be anything interesting, but in the long run it will predispose the mind to be open and receptive to inspiration. Leonard Bernstein used to say that “inspiration is wonderful when it comes, but the writer has to develop an approach for the rest of the time [because] the wait is just too long …”
And as frustrating as this “wait” is, the moment when inspiration strikes is truly wonderful, almost indescribable. Especially because it comes suddenly, perhaps after breaking your head for very long periods, or having started the same thing a thousand times over.
It is a truly cathartic and totally satisfying moment, it is a moment in which I feel closer to the essence of things.
*article from the Boutique Guitar Showcase En Tour 2020 Magazine