"Let the beauty that you love - be what you do." -- Bumper Sticker
An important concept in creativity is to look for examples of beauty and then let them inspire you.
Siegfried Fishbacher, of the Siegfried and Roy magic duo, was inspired by the fantasy paintings of Peruvian artist Boris Vallejo. Whenever they put together a new show, Siegfried would give the creative staff a book of Vallejo's paintings to use as inspiration. Siegfried enlarged one of Vallejo's paintings and turned it into a mural in his room so he could be constantly influenced by the artist. The appearance of their props, costumes, and set reflected Vallejo's style.
The directors of the "Rhapsody in Blue" segment of Fantasia 2000, were inspired by the elegant pen and ink artwork of Art Hirschfeld. The animated segment began with a single line that grows into the skyline of New York. All of the cartoon characters resembled Hirschfeld's caricatures.
I think bald eagles are a beautiful creature. I have a small collection of art and photos of bald eagles. I also love the beauty of stained glass. Several years ago I saw a round stained glass sun catcher that was an eagle's head silhouetted against a red setting sun. I didn't purchase it, but I did use it as a source of inspiration. One of the first silk scarves that I painted for my magic act was an eagle silhouetted against a setting sun. The details are much different from the stained glass art that inspired it, but I think of the beauty of the original each time that I use it. It always gets great audience response when I use it in a performance.
I also love the beauty of the early twentieth century horse drawn circus parade wagons, especially those that are red with gold ornamentation. So, last year when I wanted to build a pinewood derby car to enter in the sibling and adult heat of my grandson's Cub Scout Pack race, I built my car to look like a red circus wagon with gold trim. Again, it is something that has gotten very positive response.
Beauty is not confined to physical objects. I have selected some music for use in my performances that I feel is beautiful. (All of the music that I use is royalty free. Most of it comes from two sources, Randy Christensen and Arthur Stead.) I have combined that music with magic using silk scarves, which I think are also beautiful. I let the music influence my movement which has resulted in me becoming more graceful on stage. The music also affects my emotions while I am performing. It creates a sense of wonder that is communicated to those in my audience. When I performed a routine of scarf magic during the public show at the recent California Clown Campin' education program, I heard a young boy exclaim, "Now that is real magic." I believe that the mood reinforced by the beautiful music contributed to his reaction.
I was recently reflecting on some of my favorite television shows and movies over the years. They have included many different genres, but one thing they have all had in common is the relationship between the main characters. My favorite shows and movies have all featured people that you could sense truly cared about each other. I realized that my favorite episodes were not the first ones. I was drawn more to episodes after the friendship between the characters had developed and matured. At the core of those episodes were beautiful friendships. I have been blessed to personally be the recipient of some beautiful friendships. I have also been blessed by the beautiful relationships with my parents and my wife. Now I strive to treat others in the same beautiful way that I have been treated.
Where can you find beauty around you? What type of beauty do you love? What art inspires you? What music moves you? How can you incorporate that beauty into your performances? What effect does it have on your life?