Take Inspiration from the World Around You

Essentials: Take Inspiration From The World Around You

Where to go for a project idea? One that grabs you, and that you want to share with others? Amer, an Adobe Youth Voices artist from Amman, Jordan, says to look around you – and “follow your interest.”

“I get an idea from something that inspires me in my everyday life,” says Amer.

Coming up with an idea can be the hardest part of a media project. When it’s a good idea, often the work just flows. A good subject is motivating and open-ended. It should originate with – and be shaped by – the media artist. And, there’s no telling where a good idea might come from. For example, Amer takes his inspiration “from the news” or “sometimes I see something, or a problem in my community.” He keeps his eyes wide open to the possibilities because he wants “to make a difference in the world.”

Taking a moment to reflect, Amer says, “I remember one of my very first projects which really moved me to get up and work – and do something to express what I felt.”

“One evening a couple of years ago, I was watching news on TV, and they were talking about murders and arrests in Palestine where the other half of my family lives, while in our neighborhood not far from my house, there was a big wedding where music was loud and people dancing and singing happily, and it made me think how life can be really complicated, how some people suffer while other people don’t care – or maybe they just had to move on,” explains Amer.

The contrast really struck Amer at the time. He “wanted all people to be happy and dancing, not to suffer.” This well of feeling prompted him to create “No War,” a short video that depicted “the contradiction in our life” by interspersing music clips and news of war. It was his effort to evoke the same kind of emotional response in his audience that he had originally.

Sharing what inspires you is at the heart of youth media. It can be shooting video on your own, like Amer did to make “No War.” Or, it might be composing music, like Arabic rap, with a crew of friends – which is how he likes to express himself these days. Either way, Amer takes inspiration from his life and the lives of people in his community. Then he turns it into media that reveals something about the world, and carries his message.