On Inspiration and Ideas for Potters

Don’t wait for inspiration to find you because it's not looking for boring people to hang around with. Make yourself attractive. Do interesting things with interesting people. Read, watch and listen to interesting things. Brush your teeth, drink enough water and don’t be so fucking boring. Your lack of inspiration is your own fault. Inspiration is everywhere if you’re looking for it and nowhere if you're not. Maybe the search for inspiration is the perfect excuse to live a more interesting life? 

Inspiration is no more a solution than an idea is a product. Inspiration is a fart and a diamond. Inspiration is not a thing that can be bought off the shelf and applied. It is not a shit in the grass waiting to be stood on. How many unicorns have you caught lately? You may have to improve your hunting skills to catch the thing you want. Most people don’t lack inspiration but the initiative to act upon it. This is why motivational books don't usually work. If you had the answer would you use it? The petrol is not the car. Open a fucking window.

Ideas are made, they do not come from nothing. Nothing comes from nothing. Ideas come from experiences. Boring ideas come from boring experiences etc etc. Fuck mindfulness. Mindfulness is an old tool to stop monks getting erections. Searching for ideas is like looking for your own eyeballs. Ideas are a busy brain’s sweat. Move it. Have better experiences. Abandon your hopelessly boring life. Buy an ostrich, adjust your gender, eat a rattlesnake’s arsehole. If you spend all your time doing tedious shit in a vacuum of your own flatulence then you deserve the lobotomy you’ve given yourself. Still can’t think of any good ideas? Steal someone else's. Smart people don’t care. I’m only sharing this to make room for the next lot. Everybody copies everything everyday. That's how i’m writing this now. Originality stems more often from a bad translation than a sudden epiphany. Ideas are the progeny of ideas. You don’t need to own the tree to eat the fruit. 

Plan less, pot more, start now. Embrace uncertainty; it lets you know you are going in the right direction. Lean into it laughing. Don’t give yourself the luxury of time to rationalise a plan, you’re a chatty chimp rocketing through infinite space on a damp rock. Reality is a fucking mess. Stop looking for answers. Ideas are questions. 

Stop hiding behind your limitations. Embrace the skills you have. If you want to get better practise more - or shut up. Stop paying people like me to teach you shit that's free on youtube. I’m just pretending to like you. Teach yourself to learn first. Hierarchy of technique in pottery makes as much sense as racism. The earliest pots were made with spit, piss and a stick. Mastery is useful but not necessary and has its own problems. Clinging to a tradition or technique can be as much of a barrier as having no skills at all. I’ve noticed that kids have no problem coming up with great ideas for making inspirational pottery and yet they have no training, no special skills or tools or aspirations. They are not yet concerned about the opinions of their friends and family. They make a blob and call it a poo frog. Everybody laughs and has a good time. 

Don’t make things that other people think are valuable. Make something that means something to you today not something that might mean something to someone else tomorrow. Fuck them, they can make their own pots. Make things that you are interested in. Value is fleeting, seasonal, subjective and not your problem. This isn't a letter to economists. Eat your fucking money! What happens after the pot is made is not pottery, so don’t worry about it. There is no such thing as a bad pot, only someone else's opinion of it. Never let a talking sausage ruin your buzz. The smell of freshly cut grass reminds me of summer. 

Anything in your head is yours - take it.

4 comments

  • You just kicked me in the ass. Thanx :)

    Beth @ bestillarts
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  • Laurie. (The best potter in the world)
    I’m going to read inspiration and ideas for potters every day. For a bit.
    Ta for giving me a kick up the arse.

    Mandy

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