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Chain of Inspiration

Imagine having 3-4 painters and 3-4 songwriters working together on a collaborative creative project.   Now imagine that one of the painters paints an image and then that piece of art is used as the inspiration for the first songwriter to compose an original song.  Then that song is given to a second painter who uses it as inspiration to make yet another original painting.  That second painting is then used as inspiration for another songwriter to compose another original song, which is then used by a third painter to produce another original piece of art....and so on and so on.  This process continues until all of the participants have produced their piece, with each one being inspired by the work of another.  That is the concept behind a new proposed creative project called "A Chain of Inspiration".


Below are more details about the proposed project.  This is currently a work-in-progress, so please feel free to reach out to me with questions, changes and tweaks that you think would help to make this project one in which YOU would enjoy participating.

Thank you and PLEASE provide feedback on how to make this project even better!



1.0 - Overview

     The proposed project is one in which 6-8 Creators (painters, songwriters/musicians, sculptors, etc) collaborate to produce a series of Creations (art, music, poems, etc), each of which is inspired by the Creations of the other Creators.


     The Creations are produced in a serial manner, one after the next, with each one inspired only by the previous Creation.


2.0 - Key Terms

     For the purpose of this document, the following terms are defined as such:


     Creation: A piece of work produced by a Creator.  The Creations might be a song, a poem, a sculpture, a painting, a short film, etc

     Creator: The person who makes the Creations.  Examples include: Painters, songwriter, poet, filmmaker, author, artist (of any type).  At the beginning of The Project, all     Creators will be placed in a random order and will be assigned a Creator Sequence (Creator #1, Creator #2, Creator #3, etc).

     Creator Sequence:  The randomly assigned order in which the Creators will produce their Creations.

     Step:  All actions needed for a single Creator to make their particular Creation.  When that Creator is completed with his/her Creation, The Project moves on to the next Step.

     Prompt:  Creations or concepts, ideas, thoughts, emotions, etc that serve as inspiration for the Creators to produce their Creations.  There are two types of Prompts: Initial Prompt and Step Prompt.

     Initial Prompts:  These are concepts, ideas, thoughts, emotions or ideas that serve as inspiration to the Initial Creator (Creator #1) in order for him/her to produce his/her Creation. 

     Step Prompt:  After Step #1, the previous Creation would serve as the Prompt for all subsequent Creators.
     The Project:  This art project, which currently has a working title of "Chain of Inspiration" (subject to change.  I'm open to ideas!)

     Administrator: The person or group who organizes and runs The Project.  The Administrator would likely not also serve as a Creator.

3.0 - The Creators

     The types of Creators who would be eligible to participate in The Project (and subsequently, to produce Creations) covers a very, very broad range of different genres and medium of all varieties of art.  The following is a list to get ideas going, but it is definitely not intended to be exhaustive.  New and different artistic genres and media are absolutely welcome.  

     A list of possible types of Creators that I’m currently imagining for this project are:

          - Painters (several different media: painting, drawing, charcoal, etc)

          - Songwriters (several different genres: country, rock, folk, etc)

          - Writers (several different genres: poets, short story, etc)

          - Sculptors

          - Stained glass craftsman

          - Other types of artists?  (More ideas??)

     At the beginning of The Project, all of the Creators are randomly assigned a sequence number to form the Creator Sequence.  For instance, if there are 8 Creators involved, each of them would be assigned a number 1-8 (Creator #1, Creator #2, Creator #3, etc).

     Ideally (preferred, but not required), all Creators are all within the same geographic area to make it easier for media and exhibition coverage as described in Section 9.0.

4.0 - Creations

     Creations are the final products of the Creators. A Creation could be a song, a poem, a painting, a sculpture, a short film, a performance piece, a stained-glass creation, etc.  There should be very few limits or rules on what defines a Creation so as to allow maximum creativity and artistic freedom.

5.0 - Prompts

5.1 - Initial Prompts

     Creator #1 will use the Initial Prompt as his/her inspiration to produce his/her Creation.  The Initial Prompt is determined as follows:  Imagine a list of 5-10 (or more) Initial Prompts.  These Prompts should evoke an emotional response or be filled with imagery in order to give the Creators inspiration for their Creation.  Here’s a few examples, but this list could include drastically different types of Prompts:

          - The sound of a train in the distance

          - Foggy mountain morning

          - Fearful fictional monsters

          - The fear caused by 130 mph hurricane winds rattling the walls and windows of the house as you’re huddled inside  

          - Discovery of life on another planet

          - The last dinosaur before extinction

          - The joy of a new friendship

          - The pain of a lost friendship

          - The beauty of a desert storm brewing on the horizon while having blue skies overhead

          - The serenity of enjoying a warm cup of coffee on the back porch at the exact moment of a Spring sunrise

          - More, More, More, More ideas!   

Each of the Initial Prompts are randomized and one of them is randomly selected.   This selected Initial Prompt will serve as the inspiration for Creator #1.   The other Prompts from the list will not be used.

5.2 - Step Prompts

     Step Prompts for a particular Creator (excluding Creator #1) are the Creation produced by the previous Creator.   

6.0 - The Project

The Creator who is selected as Creator #1 would use the Initial Prompt as inspiration to produce their Creation.   Other than using the Prompt as their inspiration, there would be very few other rules.   Nearly total artistic freedom would be allowed with no requirement of how “direct” the inspiration would have to be in order to inform the production of the Creation.   However, there would need to be a demonstrable lineage/backstory that connects the Prompt to the Creation, however direct or indirect it may be.   

All Creators, would be allowed a specific time limit (perhaps 1 month?  Is this long enough?  Too long?) to complete their Creation.  Once a particular Creator completes their Creation, then that Creators Step is completed and the next Step begins.  At that point, the just-completed Creation would be provided to the next Creator and it would serve as the Prompt to create their Creation.  

Each Creator would have only the previous Creators Creation to serve as their own inspiration.  No Creator would have access to any of the Creations of other Creators EXCEPT the one immediately before them in the Creator Sequence.  (i.e.  Creator #5 would not be allowed to know of the Creation produced by Creator #3.  He/she would only get access to the Creation done by Creator #4.)   Of course, at the end of The Project, all Creators would then be allowed to see/hear/experience all of the Creations

7.0 - Example

Here is an example of how the first few Steps of The Project could potentially turn out.  

Suppose that the Initial Prompt randomly selected was "Fearful Fictional Monsters" and suppose that Creator #1 was selected to be a painter.   Perhaps that Initial Prompt would remind Creator #1 that her high school English teachers favorite poem was Jabberwocky by Lewis Carol.



“The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, 

 came whiffling through the tulgey wood, 

 and burbled as it came!”  

This high school memory might inspire Creator #1 to paint a picture of a dark forest filled with “tulgey wood”, where the Jabberywock might have lived, but perhaps the painting doesn’t even attempt to represent the actual monster.   In this example, Creator #1 could describe the connection from the Prompt to their Creation, even if that connection may not be readily apparent to someone else who sees the Creation.


Step 1 is complete.  Now start Step 2

Perhaps Creator #2 is a poet.  If Creator #2’s name happened to be Robert Frost (if only we could be so lucky!), he might see the painting of the dark forest and be inspired to write:

Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

  And sorry I could not travel both

  And be one traveler, long I stood

  And looked down one as far as I could

  To where it bent in the undergrowth”

Step 2 is complete.  Now start Step 3.

Creator #3 (who, for the sake of this example, is a country/western songwriter) would then receive the poem.  Perhaps the line “sorry I could not travel both (roads)” would inspire him to write a song about a rodeo bull rider lamenting the challenges of balancing the "two roads" of  home life (or what’s left of it) and his necessity of being on the road which comes with being a rodeo star.

Pay The Bills

”He lives on the road, he sleeps in the cold

  To anyone else, it’d be suicide

  The broncs are all evil, his best friend is the devil

  But on the back of this bull he was born to ride

  He’s tired and he’s sore from all the rides before

  His life’s a mess, for months he ain’t been home

  If he’s had a good day, he takes his saddle and his pay

  And he hurries to his next ride in San Antone

  The work’s always rough and he’s got to be tough

  Dancing with wild thunder, it gives him a thrill

  He knows it a battle just to stay in the saddle

  But its the only way he knows to pay the bills”

This “Pay The Bills” song would then be given to Creator #4 and so it goes, one Step at a time until the last Creator has finished his/her Creation.   

8.0 - Business Plan

Ideally, the Creators would get payment for completing their Step of The Project.   Ideally, the payment would be no less than $100 per Creator (hopefully more depending on funding).    The Administrator of The Project, ideally, would get paid the same as a Creator in order to handle costs associated with administration, organization, webpages, PR, etc

All Creators retain ownership of their Creation but would allow publication rights in order to help promote The Project.

8.1 - Possible Funding options

     8.1.1 Sponsors  (goal of at least $1000)

     8.1.2 Kickstarter project  - the more successful the Kickstarter; the more the Creators get paid.  Could use the social media reach of all of the Creators to help spread the word and make the Kickstarter even more successful

     8.1.3 Ticket sales from an exhibition?

     8.1.4 Auction of some or all of the Creations?

     8.1.5 Other ideas?

Creators should be on board with The Project and agree to be involved before the potential Kickstarter project launches so that the individual Creators could help spread the word about the Kickstarter through their respective social networks.  If funding is through a sponsorship, it may not be necessary to have the Creators already lined up ahead of time, but would be helpful.

9.0 - Media Coverage


9.1 - Luminnovation Podcast: Record a show to introduce the concept and meet the Creators. Maybe have this as one big round table discussion before The Project starts.   Record a new show after each Creator has completed their Step, but none of the shows are released until all Creators have completed their Steps and The Project is completed.  This concept prevents a Creator from being influenced by any of the previous Creations EXCEPT the one immediately before them in the Creator Sequence.

9.2 - Exhibition:  It would be great to have an art installation or exhibition after The Project is done.   Have a separate payment, if possible, to encourage the Creators to attend the Exhibition and interact with the visitors.  Ideally, it would be great to have a local art gallery or art museum get on board before The Project launches.   Visitors to the exhibition could vote on which Creation is best (different categories) and the Creators win awards/prizes.   “The Most Creative Artist of the 2019 Chain of Inspiration Art Contest is......”

9.3 - Social Media:  If all of the Creators work together to help spread the word about The Project, it's likely that the word could spread far and wide over the net.

9.4 - Traditional Media:  Perhaps get 1 of the local broadcast TV channels to profile The Project, or even follow along for the duration of The Project.

10.0 - Other Notes or Ideas

Should there be ground rules on the Creator Sequence?  For instance, it might make for a more diverse and creative result if a songwriter did NOT follow another songwriter or a painter did not follow another painter.   Maybe alternate or rotate such that no two Creators of the same genre would be allowed to be adjacent in the Creator Sequence?

Have ‘extra’ Creator(s) on standby in case someone drops out?   Or just skip them and move on to the next Creator in the Creator Sequence?

What are the rules or guidelines if a Creator decides to opt-out of The Project midway through?  What happens if a Creator misses the time-limit/deadline?   Missing a deadline would then push back the start date for the next Creator.

What are some ideas where this project could be used to help support some type of Community Outreach efforts?   

I’m currently hoping that this becomes an ongoing, annual project with new Creators each year.

Could we get more community involvement by having Houston-area 'celebrities' submit their Prompts to be added to the list? 

There could be a weekly or bi-weekly conference call/meeting between the Administrator and all Creators to make sure that everyone is still on the same page?

Other ideas/suggestions/tweaks?



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