Because I can…

As the days are passing by and two o seventeen is growing older our journey of twelve words is with me wherever I am. Be it at work, on weekends when out and about or sometimes while taking a shower. The last days had me thinking about the word of February: inspiration.

What inspires me?
Or who does so?
What is inspiration to me at all?
A feeling?
A state of mind?
A signal that starts something in me whenever I notice it?

Two weeks ago Boris gave an insight into the origins of the word and about the different facets of it. Let me explain my idea of it and what it is connected with for me.

For a long time inspiration to me was something abstract; an it that came around whenever it wanted; the spark that was necessary to light the fire of creativity.

Creativity in different ways.

Pieces of furniture.

Over the years I tried quite some forms of creativity. And all that time I thought I had to wait for inspiration to come flying to me in order to get started. There were times when I felt there was no inspiration there at all. No power from above, no signs of getting me thinking of a new melody to play on my guitar;  or a new table to make from that lovely piece of maple; or a shape to form from that piece of soapstone. It took me years to look at it from another angle- but more on that later.

As I moved along on my personal journey I came across that thing called Instagram which to me was mostly about photography on an amateur level. I felt comfortable with it. I could try and take photos with my cellphone without feeling too embarrassed as I didn´t have the slightest idea of photography at all. I just snapped whatever seemed interesting or beautiful to me. I bought some lenses to attach to the phone in order to play with fisheye perspective or the macro universe- and a whole new world appeared in front of me! Wow!

It changed my perspectives, the way of how I looked at the world around me.
It seemed to me that inspiration was everywhere.

The longer I was on Instagram and the more I explored my phone camera, the deeper I went into the field of Legography and toy photography. First, it was different themes of LEGO that inspired me to take pics. Then I found interest in snapping all sorts of toys. At some point, I tried to mix all of these to find out whatever worked for me. A toy safari (and some #balticdipping ) followed and still I feel there´s SO.MUCH.MORE. to explore:

Different photography techniques and forms …
Different ways of photo editing …
New and old Lego sets and themes …
Hashtags galore; you name it…

At some point, my thoughts about inspiration changed.

I realized that what I used to wait for always was and is right with me.

Sometimes I find inspiration in a flower when it makes me pick up my camera to capture it digitally.
Sometimes it´s a sunrise or a sunset.
A special light caused by certain weather conditions can be most inspiring. Just as a walk by the sea, the mighty sea.
Watching some strangers in the streets or in a café.
Or a painting that is a hundred years old or more.
The story about a person you never ever heard of before until five minutes ago.
Ideas thrown at you by fellow photographers, IGers, and friends.

And then there are two more, to me outstanding, things that inspire me in a way that amazes me over and again every once in a while.


Seeing different places (I pretty much like the German expression Tapetenwechsel change of surroundings in English, literally a change of wallpapers), smelling different scents, tasting different food and drinks and , oh so important, listening to different sounds and languages. Leave your comfort zone at least once a year and travel in order to expand your horizon.

Exchanging with others.

Talking to people, chatting online, writing letters and postcards are a wonderful way to learn about the world outside your own thoughts.
Speaking them out loud and sharing them with others may strengthen you or show you different perspectives you had no idea about.
A conversation sometimes can change your mood from bad to good.
It may change a gray day into one full of color and music.
It may inform you about music/books/names that are new to you and may just become a new favorite of yours.

And sometimes, just sometimes, a conversation may open your mind for new universes and turn your life upside down in a good way.

I´ll admit these are rare; but oh so precious and truly inspiring.

I´m honestly interested in your ideas about inspiration.
What inspires you?
What has the power to give you new ideas for photos, projects or other forms of creativity? Share them with me if you feel like and let´s start a conversation.

Here in the comments, on FB, via direct message on IG or for a coffee/beer/tap water.


Ps: Those who kept reading may think “Hey, what did change his perspective on inspiration? He said he´d  tell more ´bout it later and now what?!”.

This is for you:

Some years ago I had an almost daily routine. It was to get up for some jogging before work. Nothing too exciting. Just a four km thing right after getting up.

One day I was up early just before the sunrise. I left the house, crossed the streets of my neighborhood and went on to some farm tracks in the middle of nowhere. There I was, still half asleep, longing for my bed and asking myself “Why on earth am I doing this?”. No five seconds later a dog came my way, followed by it´s mistress. Much to my surprise, she was sitting in her electric wheelchair- on a bumpy farm track before the first rays of sunlight.

The answer to my silly question followed instantly: “I´m doing this because I can. What would this woman give to walk her dog with her own feet and legs?”.

This moment of understanding made me realize that to me inspiration is tight-knit to my own will and perception. If I want it all I need to do is look around me.

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6 years ago

Hmm. That looks like a pretty cool dark umbrella or beauty dish you have there :) Seriously, I really enjoyed your exploration into what inspires and drives you, Stefan. I agree that waiting for Godot or the divine inspiration is not really very helpful as we can be waiting a long time. The power of now or just do it, turns great inspiration into beautiful imagery. For me today the clear blue sky, the warm sun (it was just around one degree Celsius) and a thin layer of snow and ice, inspired me. It is sometimes in the small things… Read more »

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