about More Musing

We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Monday, October 25, 2010

what inspires you? - lyrical journey

mission: MUSE - "what inspires you?"
by guest muse Jamie Shaw
of Lyrical Journey


In this post I'm featuring photos by talented friends whose work inspires me.  First up this amazing photo by Clare B, check out her blog and photography tutorials!

What inspires you?  What causes you to pick up your camera?  What muse speaks to you when you sit down to the computer to edit a photo or write a post?

For me the answers to these questions come quickly and easily (most days):
  • The beauty of nature - I grew up in a tiny town surrounded by nature, but now find myself living in cities.  I find taking the time to get closer to nature again makes breathing, thinking and creating easier.
  • Travel and exploring new cultures - Thanks to my job, I get to travel the world and I truly see things differently having lived on the other side of the earth.  My home, clothes, jewelry and art are more colorful and reflect the impact these cultures have had on me.
  • Spending time with friends and family - I'm blessed to be surrounded by talented and loving people who encourage and inspire me with their talents and joy for life.
  • Good music - If you've ever ready my blog this one won't surprise you.  I believe music is as essential to life as air.
The final answer on my list is more recent, but has rapidly become vital to my creative soul: Blogging and a supportive community of artists.

I started blogging  simply to share photos and stories of my travel with my family.  I was an occasional blogger with no plans to change.  Then my cousins took up a challenge to blog every day for a month.  She inspired me to do the same.  At the end of the month, I discovered I loved the discipline that came with regular posting; I also found myself (a natural homebody) inspired to live a more active life as I searched out things to do that would provide something more interesting to write about than watching TV or reading (both things which I LOVE.)

A few months later, I participated in Creativity Bootcamp, where I connected with like-minded artists and bloggers from around the world, including many of the Mortal Muses.  They inspire me through their blogs, photos, art and their warm and welcoming spirit.  Their work inspires me to keep developing my skills behind the camera and in photo editing.  I'm still very much a beginner, but many of these new friends still take the time to send tips and encouraging words my way, this support gives me the inspiration to keep working at it, even when the muse has disappeared.

 Photo by the brilliant and sweet Kristine of Blue Elephant Photography

More recently, Mortal Muses has become one of my favorite places to visit each day.  I know I'll walk away richer and inspired by both the photographs and words of the Muses and the members of the community they have built.  I've also found a community of artists discussing and seeking inspiration daily at Kim Klassen's Inspiration Studio, where I'm lucky enough to lead a discussion about music each week.  The amazing community there encourage and participate as we seek inspiration through music.

What inspires you?  Please share some of your ideas with the rest of us in the comments section - you never know when one of your comments or suggestions will inspire a fellow artist!

 Photo by the talented and generous Justine Gordon.

I'll leave you with an example and a song - because it wouldn't be a blog post from me if it didn't include at least one song.  I was introduced to this incredible song by Prairie Girl and as I've shared this song with others, I've received notes telling me how it inspired them, truly proof that inspiration is paid both forward and back.

Wild Horses - Susan Boyle.  Not only is hers an inspiring story, her rendition of this song will give you chills.

I encourage you to become an active member of Mortal Muses and the greater community of online artists.  Seek them out, take the time to leave a comment and words of encouragement, in return, you'll receive more inspiration than you can imagine.

Jamie Shaw

Today's More Musing Giveaway is a second copy of Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters' Guide to Shooting from the Heart.  Leave a comment to be eligible.

We are having nine days of giveaways and special guests. We will be drawing the winners from the comments left during the entire 9 Days Of Inspiration from all three pages and announcing them in a special *muse flash* on October 31. Make sure to visit the Everyday Beauty and main Mortal Muses pages and comment each day for more chances to win. Good Luck!


  1. eeeek! i'm honored to see my photo. like you, nature and travels have deeply inspired me =) and yes, it wouldn't be you without the song, i love love your blog and i'm glad you're at the inspiration studio. as my husband say "oh babe, is that the music lady's song?" your music is my background when editing ♥ i want to win the giveaway too!

  2. I too am honoured to see my photo. I find taking a picture a day inspires me, I look at things in a completely different way and I too love your blog and your music. Thanks so much for including me.

  3. These posts are so inspiring. Thank you!

  4. Music is an essential part of my inspiration - I often hear lyrics and wonder how I can photograph what they mean to me. I'm excited to listen to the Wild Horses rendition, but I forgot my headphones and I don't want to get caught at work!

  5. I loved visiting your blog and listening to some of the music that inspires you...and I appreciate the link to amazon's monthly $5 specials! I just bought Tift Merritt's See You on the Moon...and I'm listening to it as I write this:)

  6. Susan's video gives me goosebumps. Very inspiring.

  7. Jamie,
    I am continually inspired by your photography of the world around you and the music you share with us.
    hank you for musing with us this week,

  8. Love the photo and love the music!

  9. love the video. never watched it before. i am so inspired by all my fellow bloggers and by all the amazing photos on flickr. i am also inspired every day by my fellow knitters on a site called "ravelry". you all make me want to be a better blogger/photographer/knitter and person!!

  10. lovely post, and beautiful photos. thanks for sharing!

  11. I'm inspired by other photographers, amazed at how they see things. It helps me rethink how I "see" and inspires me to take better shots- Jamie's photo has struck me before because of it's creativity.

  12. Weather is a major inspiration for me, the way it changes and makes everything beautiful, nature, and other photographers!

  13. love this post and as a huge music lover i just adore Jamie's blog!

  14. I so agree about receiving inspiration through the regular discipline of blogging, photo taking, and keeping up with fellow bloggers. After starting a blog and 365, I realized how silent I had been for years- keeping my creative thoughts to myself without expression. My different online communities have encouraged and inspired me so much.

  15. Holly { Soupatraveler }October 26, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    music often supplies inspiration to me, or just seems to take me to a better place. and of course, i get lost for hours on flickr, and now, i can come here for more beauty and inspiration too, : )

  16. Jamie, thank you so much for your lovely introduction - I feel so excited/elated/nervous whenever I see my work on someone elses blog. Gives me goosebumps. I'm a little late, but it's been a crazy week (and it's only Tuesday afternoon!!). Great post on inspiration. I have found wonderful inspiration from so many bloggers and online social networks, people's work constantly amazes me and inspires me to be better.

  17. I'm inspired by the world around me, other artists, the lighting on something, my critters, and lots of other things. Sometimes I just take the camera outside and don't know what I will shoot until I see the perfect thing. Maybe it is the light shining just so on an object that draws my eye, or the color or texture. If it is a photo of my critters it could be something silly I catch them doing and want to remember the moment with a photo.

  18. Great post Jamie! I love that photo of Clare's... it is inspirational. The world of blogging seems to open inspirations in so many unexpected ways and that includes meeting talented people like yourself! Thanks Jamie.

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  20. eeks! sorry for deleting that previous comment ... i had made an error : (

    dear jamie ~

    you are too, too sweet ...

    you are such a shining light and always offer such heartfelt support and encouragement in this community ...

    i am inspired by wonderful artists like kim who's generosity, creativity and wizardry in her work amaze me ... artists like kristine and justine and how they see the world and capture it marvelously ...

    i am inspired by susan boyle ~ a wild horse herself, if you'd like ~ genuine, refreshing and gutsy to get on that world stage ... thank you for embracing and sharing her ~ i love her so ...

    i am inspired by all the previous comments, that's for sure!

    and you! you constantly inspire me for being you ... *hug*

    your tremendous gift in sharing your wonderful images and words, and marrying them with music is just a smidgen of what you bring to all of us!

    MWAH ~

  21. Shutter Sisters definitely inspire me!!

  22. i'm such a fan, jamie... I am continually inspired by how you put your lyrical posts together!! The way you share your gift is...beyond!!

    I'm inspired by so many online... it's amazing to have the opportunity to connect with so many genuine and truly inspirational bloggers & artists of all kinds...

    such a lovely post...
    oh I'm with PG...i adore the way you pair your musical inspiration with just the right photos. :)

    xxo, kim