Muse,Painted by Raphael in 1511.

Painted by Raphael in 1511. Source: Wikipedia Public Domain

Creativity Crisis! I’ve Lost My Muse – How To Find It?

I think that before launching into a discussion about how to find a lost muse, it would be good to begin by identifying exactly what one is.

The Historical Significance Of The Muse

The dictionary suggests that it is a person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration. In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences.

Zeus brought the Muses to life to celebrate the victory of the Olympian gods over the Titians. Each one had her own domain over a particular gift in the arts.  Apollo, the god of music, art and poetry, was their teacher.

The Muses inspire creation. Many people believe that the inspiration they acquire to write literature, a poem, or any artistic creation was beyond their control since it came from the Muse they called upon. Traditionally Athena, in Greek Mythology was the goddess of art among other things.

 

Current Uses Of The Muse

So how is this relevant to an artist today. Well, artists are still seeking inspiration and many of them use a muse of some sort.

This may take the form of people, places or things. For example, it might be a person who inspires you, such as your partner, or your child. I have often found the country of my birth to be one of my muses, as I return again and again to that subject matter. Every time I go there I am creatively inspired, and I rush around taking photos of things and memories I want to take back with me, and not forget.
So we are not limited to only one of them, in fact, we may have several, I know I do. I think however the special nature of the muse is that we can return again and again to that subject and somehow we always find inspiration from it. This means that we need to have a deep emotional connection to our muse, for if we don’t the connection will not last. 

I have recently embarked on a new project, collaborating with a friend who is a photographer. This collaboration centres around using the artist Georgia O’Keeffe as our Muse for the project. I will be elaborating a lot more on this project in future posts.

If you feel you have lost your muse, or never had one, there is a great book on this subject, “Marry Your Muse,” by Jan Phillips.

It is a wonderful resource for diving deeper into your art practice and learning how to take on a muse if you don’t already have one.

This Weeks Question: Who or what is your muse?

Look For Next Week’s Post: Diving deeper into the topic of the muse and how I am applying that in my art practice.