Inspiration. What does it mean to you? – An idea for a project? Maybe a way of life? Or even just something that connects with you in some way? To me, it defines most of the things I do, from choreographing a dance to dealing with my emotions. Without inspiration I wouldn’t be able to enjoy what I do. It is the essence that supports everything else, and I find it very difficult to complete a task if I don’t feel inspired. This is especially true with writing tasks…assignments, letters, and even writing my blog. That is really what has affected me recently…I haven’t felt inspired to write. All my posts have been very spontaneous – no prior thought, just a random list of sentences about a few badly thought out outfits. I want to change that. The first thing I said on this blog was that it wouldn’t be shallow. It has begun to turn this way and I don’t like that. Anyway, back to inspiration…
For any dance there must be inspiration, be it from the music, a certain style or theme, a costume or an individual dancer. For me, it is often a mix of all of the above. For example, when choreographing the Belly Dance for this semester my inspiration came from wanting to use veils, and the music I chose – Under The Sea. I immediately thought of waves and swirls and fluid movements; blues, greens and silvers; not so much drama as some other dances evoke. However, next semester my inspiration is the American Tribal Fusion style, and Gothic Tribal style, that are both becoming increasingly popular due to dancers such as Rachel Brice. I love the very punctuated movements, showing full body control; and also the individual and personal costumes full of feathers, bells, coins and shells. In other types of dance there is a similar process. For example, last year in Contemporary we had themes to work towards – Puppets in one dance, and Mist in the other. For me, this allowed a certain amount of freedom, but gave me something to cling onto. I knew what I was supposed to be. I was able to latch onto the choreographer’s inspiration.
I want to do a separate post on the influence of music on my life, but it needs mentioning here as well. I am definitely the sort of person that listens to the words of a song and finds reference in them. If I don’t like the words of a song, I won’t listen to it, however much I like the tune. This is true of music videos too…if I don’t like the message I won’t listen to the music. This happened with ‘Smile’ by Lily Allen. I didn’t think it was good that people were being encouraged to be mean to their friends and partners. However, the effect can work the other way. A song that encourages you to be yourself, a song that tells you to let criticism make you stronger, a song that says how you feel…inspiring you to make your life better. As I say, I will follow on from this at a later date.
I have a whole album of these, as well as a multi-page document of quotes. Some are just sayings I like, but others seem more like advice. If I am feeling low or confused, I usually find that by looking through these there is something that relates to how I am feeling. In the past couple of years I have become quite an emotional person, in that I often take things badly, or dwell on things that happened in the past. I don’t hold grudges, I do forgive, but I don’t forget; not always a good thing! Any advice that can make me feel better, or sort my head out, is greatly received, and makes me feel inspired to carry on, and keep fighting. Sometimes these quotes are also inspiration for other things than life. Some of my previous blog posts have been inspired by things I have read, or that someone has said in passing. I bet they never expected that a throwaway comment would become the subject for a poem or a discussion, or even an outfit. But then, that is how What Liza Wore began! A suggestion to wear something in particular inspired me to wear things in new ways and to rediscover items thrown to the back of the wardrobe.
This is a big part of my life, even after WLW. I think fairly recently I have found out a lot about Fashions, and about clothes in general. I have a keen interest in vintage and retro styles, especially those of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Anything that oozes femininity or glamour just makes me want to dress up or travel back in time. I often feel I was born out of time…especially when I look back at old photos of my Grandma in the 1950s…it is exactly what I would love to wear every day. I don’t really read fashion magazines anymore…I used to, but now I don’t agree with a lot of what is being said. The emphasis on ‘on trend’ or ‘must-have’ is so commercial. People should be able to wear what they want, when they want and not be judged for it. Not everything suits everyone, and not everything that suits you, will you like! I also find everything so expensive. High street is no longer cheap, and neither are charity shops for that matter! That is when I am inspired by fashion…inspired to be different. This could be by mixing ‘trends’ that shouldn’t go together, or making it myself. If I had more time, I would make so many more things, especially as I now have a selection of really nice patterns to try out, as well as my sewing machine and tailor’s dummy. It’s just a shame about the degree…:P
This is just a general outline of what inspiration means to me. I also trawl pictures for ideas for nail painting, or for things to do with hair and make-up. I use other people as inspiration for things – maybe a success story will make me follow my dreams, or I can learn from others’ mistakes. Generally though, inspiration is intrinsic to my everyday life, and I’m sure if you think about it, it is to yours too.
‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ ~Frank A. Clark