I recently had the pleasure of hearing Spencer Finch speak at an intimate gathering. Finch is an incredibly talented artist who was chosen to create the only work of art commissioned for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
He spoke of hand-painting 2,983 squares of paper — one square in a unique shade of blue for each person killed in the September 11 attacks and in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Finch called his work “Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning.”
Finch provided moving details about his creative process and the delicacy involved in creating a work associated with so much emotion and loss. He talked about painting the fragile pieces of paper, and testing how the different shades of blue looked under different lighting.
The passion, purpose, and process behind his work is awe-inspiring and I walked away from that evening thinking about, among other things, creation. Specifically, the power of creation to influence and inspire others.
We are all creators and innovators, in everything that we do. As humans and leaders, we create many things, including written words, ideas, scientific discoveries, artwork, business partnerships and memories. Each of us has an opportunity to create something unique and valuable for the world.
But, in order to create, we must first be inspired. What inspires you?
For me it can be a meaningful conversation, beautiful design, a unique perspective, someone being unabashedly themselves, great music or laughter.
Since hearing Finch speak, I’ve been thinking about how can I create more and inspire others through creation. This blog post is a part of that, but I’ve also been thinking about flexing my creative muscles through endeavors that have whispered to me over the years. (Like, stand- up comedy. Yikes! )
When do you feel inspired? What are those moments or experiences that give you a spark of energy and make you want to create something that will influence or ignite others?
Whether it’s spending time in nature, seeing a play, or quality time with your kids, make those experiences a priority—even if at times it feels like an indulgence.
We all need time and space to create and be inspired. Sometimes we forget the value of time spent not being efficient or purposeful, but just being in the moment. We all need to take time out from our busy lives to simply listen, enjoy, and, yes, even daydream.
I’d love to hear from you the comments below. What inspires you and how will you create time and space this week to make it happen?
*image courtesy of Michael Hilton