Keeping my life and the possessions within it minimal has helped me immensely over the years. It’s brought me more clarity, focus and a deeper sense of self in a few short years than I had been able to achieve in all the years prior. I have been so happy with the positive impact minimalism has had on my life that I like to apply it to every aspect of my life but one - inspiration.
For me, more is more when it comes to gathering inspiration and as a result of my non-discriminatory approach, I continually find myself inspired by the most unlikely sources. Sure there are the usual contenders like music, books and movies but I’ve also been blown away by the imapct the less conventional ones have had on me as well. Things like a walk in the rain on a gloomy day or the packaging on a loaf of bread at the grocery store. I am always on the hunt for inspiration and I just can’t get enough. I wholeheartedly prefer the real world, full immersion, almost overloaded approach to inspiration to the more secluded and often limiting ivory tower take.
Beyond just my personal excitement that comes from that rush of meaningful inspiration, I also need a steady dose of it in order to do my job - and do it reasonably well. Unsurprisingly, inspiration is one of the most important parts of creating content and as a creative personality, getting and staying inspired is a critical part of what makes me tick. It’s something that I actively pursue every day and has become so integral to how I operate that I have a hard time getting up and starting my day unless I feel inspired.
This constant need for inspiration coupled with my history as a classically trained vocalist for the last 21 years, have helped me narrow in on a few of fail proof sources for inspiration. These sources are perfect for when I may be a little short on time or am just feeling a bit drained, and each of these help ignite my creativity into a full blown fire. Keeping that fire burning has helped me find everything from the nuances and feeling for vocal performances, to a video idea that I’m excited about and over the course of a few posts, I want to share some of these sources with you. Starting with my favorite - music.
Before I share though I want to say that inspiration looks different to everyone and for me and my music background, a large part of this is a mix of both visual and audio. So, in no particular order here are some of my top musical inspirations.
MUSIC - RIVETING PERFORMANCES
Given my music background, I unsurprisingly get most of my inspiration from music. It’s something that I’ve studied and appreciated for years and with very few exceptions, I like it all. When I need a quick release of inspiration I love to watch a riveting musical performance that showcases the incredible work, dedication and talent that goes into being a musician that’s not only brilliant in their technique but also in their musicality - below are some great examples. For vocal performances I tend to be a bit picky but I particularly love Anna Netrebko’s rendition of “O Mio Babbino Caro” - she’s the greatest living soprano in my opinion. Or Cecilia Bartoli’s rendition of “Agitata da due venti” - the greatest mezzo of all time, in my opinion.
MUSIC - JAZZ (THE REAL STUFF)
If I want a steady flow of music to sustain my inspiration without any distraction, I typically turn to jazz - nothing beats John Coltrane or Dave Brubeck. I’ve embedded two playlists below featuring these legends and if you aren’t already, I recommend familiarizing yourself with the other greats, and reading up on a bit of jazz history. It’s such an important genre that is often impersonated poorly and I promise that once you train yourself to hear the difference you won’t be able to turn back.
MUSIC - INSTRUMENTAL & MOODY
If I want some musical inspiration that’s either instrumental only (I like this when I’m writing) or something that will help get me in a seasonal mood, I like to listen to a playlist that I’ve created. I like an eclectic mix and below are two of my favorite playlists.