“The incubation process of thought sometimes takes awhile to ferment… I’m always at work, 24-7, in my head.”
That nugget of wisdom, shared with me by Vermont illustrator Adam Glazer on my cross-country U.S. road trip, should strike a chord with many creatives. (A short video interview with him is below.) But while creatives all experience similarities in the creative process, their sources of inspiration are unique.
I asked Adam where his first creative inspiration came from.
“When Tron came out in 1982, I had a creative explosion right there. Because I understood Tron, I got it… it’s like a great LSD trip.”
Adam loves technology, philosophy, and overcoming challenges, all themes of the original Disney movie. A major challenge Adam has faced in his life is that he’s deaf. He hasn’t let that stop him from pursuing his dreams, however. He found his way from “the mean streets of Cleveland” to the idyllic creative haven of Middlebury, secured work in a print shop, and is living an art-committed life.
Adam, like many creatives, is an individual of multiple talents. His passion is illustration; he can be found every day at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe sketching away in his notebook. But he’s also a fiction writer, storyboarding a fantasy video game.
He’s also adopted a new passion for his creativity.
“I saw a flyer one day… it was about fencing, and a lightbulb went off in my head,” he told me. “Maybe this will give me an outlet for my creativity.” So he took a class, joined the Vermont Fencing Alliance, and now that art of war is fused with his illustration: “I’m holding an epee the way I’m holding a brush or a pen.”
Adam was one of the first creatives I interviewed on my road trip. He was also one of the few creatives who told me he had a very specific message he wanted to deliver. While I was setting up the camera outside the Middlebury College Museum of Art, he told me how deaf artists are routinely taken advantage of in the market for the arts, treated as if they were somehow ignorant or less worthy of respect and rights than hearing artists. I not only agreed to convey that message, I put it at the beginning of the video.
Adam was full of surprises. I certainly didn’t expect the movie “Tron” as an answer to his creative inspiration. Nor did I expect him to say his inspiration came to him in 1982, because he looks much younger than that. But that was another lesson Adam taught me early in the road trip. Leave all assumptions at the door; go in with an open mind and an open heart.
That’s actually not a bad way to approach life.