Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inspired by... James Cameron

I know, I know. Totally unlike me and totally off course from my normal pretty-party banter. But, a wise man once told me (that's you, Sean Low) that when I hear/see/experience something that inspires me, no matter what it is, I must write about it so that you, my lovely readers, can know what goes on in my mind. So, here it goes... James Cameron.

As I am sitting in bed watching Oprah's Oscar Special (also random for me since I am not an Oprah watcher) Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron are taking a behind the scenes look at the Avatar design office. He is walking her through a museum of sorts with all of the drawings, paintings and figurines of the various Avatar characters and scenes. He points out a few different paintings and explains how when he was just 14 years old, he had a dream in which the ground was luminescent. He was so profoundly moved by his dream that he kept that image with him throughout his life, and as the rest of the film developed he then channeled that dream as a major visual and conceptual inspiration for the movie. I was so taken by the power of that image and the drive that it fueled. I, too, have a strong visual memory and I sometimes think that I have a database of images in my mind that may never have a platform to become anything, but today I am inspired to remember that if I hang onto them, there may be just the right time and place to bring my visions to life.

He also talked about the moment he knew he HAD to become a filmmaker. He was driving a truck for a living in 1977 when the original Star Wars was released. After seeing the movie - what was possible as well as the amazing response of audiences - he quit his job to begin a film career.
The pure passion that inspired him that day continues to ignite his creativity. On the days when, as a designer, you can't find a creative solution with two hands and a flashlight, it is good to be reminded that creativity comes from within.

I get you, James Cameron, I get you. Not too long ago, I was sitting at lunch with my husband Mark while we were on a ski vacation in Vermont. Of course, my Blackberry was by my side and I got that little buzz that signified an email. I made a quick, casual check followed by an engrossed and mildly obsessed look at that little magic screen. Mark asked what it was and I told him that I just got an email from a prospective bride and, from what she asked and described, I want this wedding SO much! Sometimes, I just get a certain feeling about a project and I know it is one that I have to have. Anyway, for the rest of the lunch I was itching to write her back right away, but knew I needed to wait to get back to my computer to write a nice, well thought out, professional email.

While watching me fidget in my seat, Mark said what he's said many times before: "I wish I could be half as excited about my work as you are about yours." I, too, wish that for him, and I wish that for you. It is a gift.

My work is certainly no Avatar or Titanic, but I feel every day how James Cameron felt that day after he saw Star Wars - THAT'S what I want to do. Lucky me and lucky James Cameron - we've got what we always wanted. And like my boy Jim, I never want it to end.

Bring. It. On.


Ps. I promise to return to my regularly scheduled "pretty-party banter" on the next post!

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