Images above all from my pinterest

I have somewhat of an addiction. The addiction is to beauty, in all it’s forms. Art, photography, crafts, ideas, typography, design, and even fashion. The invention of pinterest only feeds the content beast. It’s easy to be addicted because beautiful things that people create are all around us. Besides pinterest, there is flickr, twitter, blogs, magazines and more all with the focus of seeking and finding beauty and inspiration.

The trouble with all this beauty is it can breed discontentment. Maybe discontentment with our own skill sets. Or discontentment with what we have or don’t have. It also creates an insatiable appetite for more. Maybe I’m weird and I’m the only one like this. Or maybe not. But this is something I’m constantly having to keep in check.

My worldview was profoundly changed one year ago when my husband went to Kenya, and I saw these amazing people who had so little, yet found beauty and meaning despite their ugly surroundings. I immediately took a few phrases out of my vocabulary:

If you think about it, the context in which those phrases are heard and said in our culture seem pretty silly when you compare them to the true needs of others.

My blog also took a different turn. I stopped blogging about things with a consumeristic approach and started working on more of my own creative projects. That has helped immensely with my own personal creativity, and has helped me stay balanced.

I do believe you should have inputs. As Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit says, “Everything is usable. Everything is relevant.” Every artist should feed into themselves somehow. But I have personally found I need to set limits on inspiration I look for via the internet. Otherwise, it inhibits my own creativity and it just makes me feel empty instead of full. These days I’d much rather go on a walk or visit a beautiful place or even explore an old run down building.

I wonder if we could just shift our mindset to see things online and not think thoughts like, “I wish I had thought of that” or “I’ve got to have that” or “I need that.” I wonder if we could see beauty and just appreciate it. To appreciate the talent of the artist. To admire and respect. To let it feed into us as artists and let it change us.

For discussion: What makes you seek out beauty and inspiration? Do you feel fulfilled by it, or does it leave you wanting more? Does it inspire you to create? Does beauty exist simply for our enjoyment? Or consumption to regurgitate it out? Or does it exist to inspire and motivate to action? To create change? To give people hope? I’d love to hear your thoughts!