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Inspiration is for amateurs…. a brilliant quote from Chuck Close

Two of my favourite artists. Philip Glass painted by Chuck Close


Came across this piece of inspiration from Chuck Close about getting down to work.  In these times of economic uncertainty it could be good to refer back to as you swim against the tide…

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” 

Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not the only one….


Filed under: Art, Business Advise

5 Responses

  1. What a great quote! I completely agree.

  2. Gemma says:

    Totally agree with this,now I can stop feeling guilty about the fact that I cant reel off 20 designers or artists when asked about ‘what inspires me’. It is so true that real inspiration comes from solving problems and from that you end up with something original.

  3. ngdagency says:

    Hi Gemma,

    Glad you like and agree with Chuck. The “happy accident” is one the most powerful tools a designer has… but you can’t have them unless you’re trying something…

    Keep on pushing on….

  4. Carlo says:

    When you said Chuck Close for some reason I pictured Chuck Norris.

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