Inspiration is for amateurs

By Arnold Waldstein via   Article

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

“This quote from New York painter and printmaker Chuck Close has been pinned to my desktop for years. Chuck is one of my personal heroes. His wall-sized, haunting self-portrait is front and center as you walk in my apartment. … Chuck was struck down in his late 40s, confined to a wheel chair with only limited hand movement on one side, and simply went to work, strapping a paintbrush to his hand and creating a new genre of art.

His quote is surprisingly polarizing to most everyone I’ve shared it with. And invariably misunderstood. People decry and lash out at it as an attempt to demystify inspiration. I get that. We all hold on tightly to our need to be struck by inspiration as the driver behind our labors. But even more so, I think we hold to our right to disclaim inactivity because we are not inspired or blocked. …

Chuck believes that:

things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will – through work – bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art [idea].”

This is a truth to live life by for me.

It touches on the dynamics of discovery that I constantly search for, not in artistic expression as I’m not an artist, but in my work–ferreting out new markets, trying untested solutions for building communities and stumbling forward making products and brands on ever new ground with constantly evolving consumer behaviors.”


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