I sat there for a couple of hours, doing yoga, eating lunch, thinking about writing this article. What inspires me to paint? Or write songs? The creative process. Hmmm, hmmm…. twiddle, doodle, blank page. Truth is, I don’t know how the creative process happens, it just does. There is no one way that my creativity comes to fruition. Sometimes I can sit down and spit out a song or a painting in a short time. Other times, it’s labored and takes weeks. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out in the end…never how I imagined it in the beginning. And that’s okay; that’s what makes it fun.
Sometimes I surround myself with inspiring images: a sky I want to fall into, flowers I think are pretty, a certain look or glance, a flowing dress, a movement, a regal animal, the curves of a beautiful instrument… I paint what I want to see on my own walls. It’s not for you. It’s for me. Often they coincide with what is going on in my life.
What inspires me to paint? People. Nature. Music. Poetry. Obsession. Passion. Sadness. Death. Heartbreak. Loving. Living. I don’t paint to make you want to stand up for some political agenda, or because all the designers say this style is the new trend, or because these are the sizes and colors consumers are buying at the moment. If I did, there would be no passion, no yearning, no desire to get it out. Because then it would be for you, and not me. I’m selfish with my creativity. I’m only doing it to get it out of my system; because I need to. I can’t ignore it. I don’t feel right if I do.
Sometimes I look at a freshly gessoed canvas, or sit in front of the keyboard with no lights, only candles, and say, “Whoever would like to be a part of this process right now, you are welcome to join.” I’ve had people come up to me on the street and say, “That looks exactly like my dead sister!” The painting they are referring to is called “Life is Fleeting,” which I painted at a time in my life where a handful of relatives and friends all died in a short span of time. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Divine interaction is more like it. The music that I write and the paintings that I birth are like bookmarks, reminders of a time in my life where I loved deeply, was heartbroken, pensive, inspired, ebullient, missing someone, or happy to meet someone new.
I live. I feel. Therefore, I must create. Living life is my muse. People betray you. They love you. People you love die. People you love, love you deeply back. It’s all worth it. Because music and art help us remember, and figure it all out.
For more information about Tara and her works, please visit TaraMillerFineArt.CarbonMade.com.