I've noticed that there are a lot of "Inspiration" posts on the web. They're usually just image after image of "inspiration." (Half the times the links are broken and I can't even see the whole image or original site, and it's actually incredibly frustrating - but that's another post.) And while, I like to browse these images, and while I appreciate them, am excited by them, am moved by them, I don't necessarily think of them as inspiring.
Granted, this might just be a case of semantics, but for me, deriving inspiration from something means to A. use one of my five senses to register something into my brain, B. be moved by that something, and most importantly, C. create something new intentionally based off of that original something. This to me is what inspiration is all about. Because we all get 500 ideas a day that are spurred by the things we see and interact with daily, but it's not enough to call it inspiring if it doesn't move you to actual make your idea a reality. I don't think a poet would call the sun an inspiration if they weren't also writing poetry about the sun.
Now you can argue that you could see a flurry of images on one of those design inspiration posts (or even in an art museum) and that they'll subconsciously influence your work from then on. And that's totally true, I agree, but that's more influence than inspiration... ? But there's also something wonderful about creating something that you can pinpoint to a moment of inspiration, a moment of a-ha. I think being influenced by 20th century art is different than being inspired by painting XYZ by author ABC.
Again, I might be running in circles and you might not see the difference, and that's no big deal. To an extent, I'm just rambling here. I'm also introducing a new series to The Gray Suite: The Inspiration Series (great name right?). So be on the look out for these, they won't be weekly, but hopefully at least monthly. I'll create something and discuss my process on how I went from the thing of inspiration to my creation and why.