It’s Monday. I don’t like to have favourite
days because of, you know, inexorable death and that. But there’s something
about Monday, I think it’s the same reason that the early morning is my
favourite time of day, all the opportunities lay ahead, it’s new and its fresh.
I like that.
As per usual (you’re going to get bored of
me saying this, but it’s my blog so I can do what I like), today started with a
morning run along the river. My new favourite route; I’m very good at doing the
same thing over and over and never getting bored of it. 1 hour, steady pace,
just to get the week going. I typically will add speed work into my training
but I didn’t long ago race a half marathon (1 week ago yesterday), so I’m just
enjoying a bit of ‘free’ training.
The idea I had this morning, as I paved my way down the Great River Ouse, is to
talk about my inspirations. In the Steal
Like An Artist logbook, it says to stick pictures of 4 of your biggest
inspirations to a page and use it to look at when you’re feeling lost for ideas
or motivation. Doing this made me think a lot about who those inspirations
and/or what those inspirations are.
decided for the logbook, and this post, that they should be people but that’s not
to say I also could name a few places, films, books and stories that have inspired
me. This made me wonder even more about how other people would answer “Who/what
are your 4 biggest inspirations?”, I asked several people including my Dad,
Brother and Girlfriend, all of whom answered the question completely
differently. My Dad compartmentalized the question into time frames, picked a
childhood hero, an inspiration for his early teens, someone who guided him
through early adulthood and someone who inspires him now. It’s interesting how
people can interpret this question and how they use influences and inspirations
in different areas of their life.
So here they are, my current top 4 inspirational heroes
Anyone who follows Casey Neistat will know that he’s a pretty popular guy in
terms of hero worship. He often talks about how much fan-related bother he
gets, as well as his iconic ‘mail time’ in which he goes through endless gifts
sent to him by people who quite literally worship the guy. For anyone who doesn’t
know who he is, he’s a YouTuber who makes (sort of) daily Vlogs/films/stories. Whilst
I am a big fan of his work, I’m self-respectful enough that I wouldn’t go as
far to say I worship the guy. I do however, draw a lot of inspiration from
Casey. Often, I’ll watch his videos as a source of motivation, influence and to
get my creativity kick started.
I definitely feel I share a lot of personality traits with him too. For starters,
I can relate to his high functioning mind. Unless it’s passed 8:30pm, my mind
is constantly whirring; I find staying still quite hard and I prefer to spend
time working or doing something semi-productive. He’s also a fellow avid
runner, choosing to run a hell of a lot. I can definitely relate to this addiction,
being a an addict to the sport myself. Most of all though, I love how Casey
will just do things. He’s so raw. His work isn’t perfect, it isn’t always
finished and he’s willing to share that. He balances quality and quantity
perfectly, choosing to make sure he puts good content out there but making sure
that his ideas materialise into a product, not letting them just fester as an
idea. Even if the end result isn’t something he’s fully happy with, he still
puts it out there for people to see because he knows that if that video/story
isn’t as good as his last, he’s just going to create another video/film the
following day or so, so it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is producing
content, growing as a creative and getting better in the process.
This is something I want to improve on:
sharing the process as well as the product. Not waiting until I’m completely
happy with my songs/artwork/stories/design ideas before I put them out there
and not worrying to much about production quality – especially to start with. I
want to put more of my work out on the public domain (internet), just like
Casey – it will only get better and better, the more I work on it and put out
Green Day were a huge influence for me musically when I was growing up. American
Idiot was such a profound album and it came out right at the time that I was
really getting into music and learning guitar. Green Day really captivated a
moment with that album and although I’m also fan of the earlier Green Day
albums, I won’t disagree with people when I say they peaked at American Idiot –
not really able to follow it up (although I wouldn’t say that I’m not a fan of
the new material).
The main reason Billie Joe is on this list
though, is that when I was 13 my mum took me to the Milton Keynes bowl to see a
band called Green Day. Yes, for any true Green Day fans, that’s the show at
which their Bullet In A Bible DVD was filmed. I started playing guitar when I
was 11 and from the moment I picked it up I wanted to be in a band. However, it wasn’t
until I went to that Green Day show that I really understood what a performance
or a show should be like. Even though I was young, I felt the magic of that evening;
it was summer, it was warm and when Billie walked out on stage and raised his
arms into the air, the whole crowd at his will, we let out a massive roar and
that energy stayed from start to finish. I think my ultimate music dream is to
one day recreate that show but with me being in his position.
Also, as a song writer, I’d admire how he
broke so many rules on American Idiot. To be able to write a 9-minute song, compromised
of 5 smaller songs that all cohesively flow and then release that song and have
it chart goes against every book on commercial song writing. He let his
creativity do the work and didn’t listen to convention – sort of what punk rock
is all about I guess. You might not be what you used to be Billie, but you gave
me that moment and for that you’ll forever be an inspiration of mine.
Okay so, I’m counting this as 2 people but also grouping them together because they
belong together. The Brownlee’s are icons across the world of triathlon.
Alistair holding 3 Olympic gold medals and Johnny donning silver and bronze.
They inspire me athletically; anyone who has done and trained for triathlon
will understand how much time and effort you have to put in due to the multi discipline
of swim, cycle and run. They both are so quick and so good at all 3 sports too.
Who’d have expected it from two humble lads from Yorkshire?
However, my biggest draw of inspiration
from these two lads is the fact they do everything together. They put down a
lot of their successes to the fact that they can help each other during
training and racing. If you watch back footage of them racing you can see them
tactically aiding one another, they do almost all of their training together
and they work together – its inspirational for anyone across any walk of life.
For someone with a brother, who I’m lucky enough to call a mate too, the comradery
between the two of them makes them admirable. All you have to do is watch the
video of Ally sacrificing his first place to help Johnny over the line when he’s
suffering from major exhaustion/dehydration to understand what real brotherhood
looks like. They are a reminder of the importance of companionship, friendship,
helping one another and also the importance of family. Well done lads.
So, there you go. Another good list would
be 4 places that have inspired me, but I’ll save that for another post maybe?
Who are your 4 biggest heroes/inspirations? Let me know – it was harder than I
thought it would be to think of them and perhaps they’ll change from time to
Peace & love.