In Pursuit of Inspiration… The Power of an Old Lighthouse and a Bleak Landscape…

It’s a funny old business.. I work largely on my own, under my own steam, direction, supervision and vision.

I know this sounds wonderful, and it generally is, but sometimes you need a bit of inspiration. When I worked as a BBC staff member, inspiration was all around. I only had to walk up to a colleagues desk and float an idea to come back with more thoughts and directions. This was powerful and enabled me to unlock my own creativity by listening to the thoughts of others and letting my mind spark!

It’s so important as a Voiceover Artist to be inspired and to have fresh injections of creativity. Why? Because working as I do, across a huge variety of genres, subject matters, characters and countries I need to be able to draw on what is inside my own mind to create the right sound, mood, thought and even physicality to put the right tone across. Whatever it might be! This morning I needed to be a 10 year old school boy. Last week I needed to be an old lady with special powers and I always need to sound like I know what I am talking about.

How do I unlock my creativity?

Every week I like to experience something new – even if that means just being spontaneous in a fairly simple way.
Here’s a few things I did last week to “shake it up a bit”

  • Had a picnic in the car on a windy day looking at the sea, listening to Radio 2 (not my usual radio choice!)
  • Cooked a meal I’d never made before (pork in cider with dumplings, yum)
  • Climbed to the top of a local lighthouse
  • Visited an artists studio in an old hut on a beach

Goodness knows these things may not sound thrilling to you but each time I do something a bit out of my everyday experience it makes me think.. I see the world a little bit differently and I like that. I think the technical term is creating new synapses in the brain. That’s good. I like them.
One place the world IS different is Dungeness in Kent. It’s no wonder it attracts artists.. the strange sparse landscape is so bleak, complete with nuclear powerstation, that I found it inspiring. The big skies and quite a bit of weather were so refreshing in a world where we are so often over stimulated by our gadgets,  that I felt the place was almost like pressing a mental “refresh” or “restart” button. Where does the mind go for creativity when the surroundings are so obscure? I think it’s about finding a new page to “write on”. A kind of meditation.

Then when I am making my plan for the week ahead – in the form of a mind map – I let myself doodle and ideas and new perspectives can flow out of my pens (OK, my son’s felt tips, but don’t tell him!).  I don’t just write, I draw on my mind maps.. silly things.. I drew a school tie, a spiky plant and a house the other day. I’m connecting both sides of my brain here which is a great tool in learning and thinking.

This means that I am able to create the state of mind that allows the clear thinking – that blank sheet – and also to have the number of perspectives I need to create something new – the paints, so that I can move through my week and the work I need to do feeling inspired and energised even though I can’t walk up to a colleagues desk these days.

Clare up Dungeness Lighthouse seeking new perspectives