It’s Inspiring.

A little over three years ago I took a picture of this graffiti because it made me laugh:

It made me laugh because I had this idea of the artist being really inspired and fired up and then sort of trailing off. And every artist has been there. I know sometimes I feel this sudden surge of energy and start a story and then realize I’m repeating myself and end up sort of trailing off, but that’s another story.

Whenever I think of inspiration I think of this painting of Voltaire.

Source: Wikimedia

It fascinated Kafka who knew a thing or two about inspiration. In a diary entry on February 19, 1911, he wrote,

The special nature of my inspiration in which I, the most fortunate and unfortunate of men, now go to sleep (perhaps, if I can only bear the thought of it, it will remain, for it is loftier than all before), is such that I can do everything, and not only what is directed to a definite piece of work. When I arbitrarily write a single sentence, for instance, “He looked out of the window,” it already has perfection.

from The Basic Kafka

Anyway I feel kind of guilty for laughing because, as I said, we’ve all been there. And here’s the same building now:

Someone was inspired to scribble an aqua-colored tag on the door but mostly, since the earlier tag was painted over, the whole building’s been a blank canvas. Inspiration is a fickle thing and sometimes making a work of art is more work than art, which is why invention is Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple, as Willy Wonka so wisely said, although sometimes you have to up the percentage of butterscotch for a reason I had in my head a minute ago but now it’s gone and I’m just sort of trailing off.

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  1. Ann Koplow

    You’re inspiring, Chris …

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You inspire me too, which is the nature of art and communication. It’s all a collaborative process.

  2. Tom

    Kind of reminds me of that scene in The Holy Grail at the Castle of Argh, where the dying man apparently took the time to carve into the stone wall his dying scream.

    Which, to round out your final reference, is truly giving 105%. 😉

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes! The only possible danger of giving 105%, though, is that you might get attacked by the legendary beast of AAAARRRGGHHH! and you can only hope the animator will suffer a fatal heart attack.


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