Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Creative Process

Minerva Among the Muses, by Hendrick van Balen the Elder
People in ancient Greece believed that artistic inspiration came from the Muses - beautiful women, the daughters of Zeus and Memory herself, according to some legends, who were kind of the patron saints of various creative and intellectual pursuits. Someone beginning a creative work would often invoke whichever Muse applied to the work about to be performed (or sometimes, just to the Muses in general), at which point, presumably, the Muse would show up and either provide inspiration to the author, or just "speak" (or paint or write) through the artist. Some believed those two actions were the same thing.

My own personal muse comes to me most often at 120+ beats per minute, usually electronic dance music. The repetitive lyrics (if there are lyrics at all) and heavy, steady beat don't require much attention, and so they live in the back of my brain (or so I envision it), leaving the front of my brain free to work on whatever I'm doing.

Another muse lives in B-movies - horror movies, especially. The familiar tropes and plots work similarly to the dance music in that they don't require much attention. If something unexpected happens in the movie, well, that gives me a little break. :)

How about you? Where does your muse live?

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