* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
The Eastern and Western classics are full of gods, saints, and heroes, all striving against life’s odds and overcoming them with perseverance, courage, energy and hope as well as help from some sort of divine energy. Unlike the gods, the saints, gurus, and heroes are humanized in creative works. Otherwise, we would find it difficult to accept them, relate to them or look up to them for inspiration and courage. It is the humanization of the subject that makes the supernatural sometimes feel real. And sometimes makes the impossible seem reachable and achievable. The classic writings all contain humanized heroes, saints and gods. The characters in these books are so humanized that the courage and inspiration we get from their endurance in overcoming life’s challenges will keep on inspiring readers forever. Because of this we can aspire to their accomplishments. If we too are able to create meaningful works providing timeless inspiration to help others, our work will live on.
Samuel Odoquei in Origin of Inspiration: Seven Short Essays for Creative People
Comments are welcome!
A: Unfortunately, I have not been able to reconstruct my family tree further back than two generations. So as far as I can tell, I am the first artist of any sort, whether musician, actor, dancer, writer, etc. in my family.
Both sets of grandparents emigrated to the United States from Europe. On my mother’s side my Polish grandparents died by the time my mother was 16, years before I was born.
My paternal grandparents both lived into their 90s. My father’s mother spoke Czech, but since I did not, it was difficult to communicate. I never heard any stories about the family she left behind. My grandfather spoke English, but I don’t remember him ever talking about his childhood or telling stories about his former life. My most vivid memories of my grandfather are seeing him in the living room watching Westerns on an old-fashioned television.
Sometimes I am envious of artists who had parents, siblings, or extended family who were artists. How I would have loved to grow up with a family member who was an artist and a role model!
Comments are welcome!