Who influences you and how do you use that inspiration?

Ranika Chaney | Artist to Artist, In the Know, Reflection & Growth | August 13, 2019

The 6th Sense for Inspiration

As artists, what doesn’t inspire us to write, sing, speak, drum, dance, paint, and create?! Like the close up in a movie where the zoom from a dog’s nose to a hot dog blocks away captures his heightened sense of smell, we as artists have somewhat of a 6th sense that can find and draw to us anything in the world that inspires us to create.

Inspired by Your Environment

In Genesis, we see a world being formed by the Creator merely speaking it into existence. Our senses were literally created to take in the rest of creation. No wonder we are moved by the world around us! We are reminded daily of all that God created on days 1 through 6–the light, the atmosphere, sun, moon, stars, animals, and of course people (Genesis 1)! What we see, smell, hear and touch prompts the artist to create like his/her Creator.

"The Lord somehow takes my childhood environment, mixed with all my experiences and the people who have influenced me to allow then me to interpret its meaning as an adult, a person, and a Christian."

God and His People

The families we were raised in giving us stories of laughter, heartache, joy, pain, and triumph that we can glean from. We mix the sorrows and pleasures of our childhood in a painting, talk about our favorite uncle in a spoken word piece, and pull the love of singing from the vinyl record our parents played at night. We can’t help but be [TC5] inspired by the people around us. I remember as a child sitting in the back of my little Baptist church listening to the preacher every Sunday. His sing-song cadence, confidence, and message of truth set much of the foundation for my love of spoken word. I know that if what I am saying is the truth, it gives me the confidence to pour out words from the depths of my soul, to recreate that rhythmic sing-song I listened to so long ago. I’m by no means a preacher, but his preaching set the foundation for my spoken word.


The Depths of the Soul

For me, as a spoken word artist, there is a 3rd component that comes together to give my art wholeness. The Lord somehow takes my childhood environment, all my experiences and the people who have influenced me and shepherds me to interpret the significance and meaning from a new perspective—as an adult, an individual, and a Christian. My southern childhood, infused with the sounds of New Orleans music on the street corners, mixed with vibrant people who endured struggle, allows me to tell a story of my own. It is a story of how God uses people to help you overcome hardships and to help you rejoice in times of joy. It undergirds a story of how God, through his creation, inspires us all to create and through creating, to reveal the depths of who God has made us be.

"What we see, smell, and hear around us prompts the artist to create like his/her Creator."

What about you? What inspires you to create? What is it about your environment, your experiences and your people that brings out the depths of your creative soul–your painting, sculpting, dancing, filmmaking, writing, and beauty? What are you going to find today that inspires you to create?

Author: Ranika

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