I’ve got my inspiration piece. Now what?

Each SPARK round lasts 10 days. Once you have an inspiration piece in hand, you can set to work creating your response. “Response” is how you define it, but remember that you must work from the initial piece you received.


The point of this project is to find in someone else’s work a bit of inspiration—a creative spark—then go from there. It doesn’t matter whether we like the inspiration piece we receive; only that we look deeply at the work, ponder it, consider it from multiple angles.

Sometimes, people contact me to say they don’t feel inspired by what they received. Sometimes they want to ask for different words or artwork. I highly discourage that.

It’s true that not every piece will speak to you, and it’s possible the inspiration piece you received is not your style. Perhaps it’s not the kind of art you’d stop to look at in a gallery, or the type of writing that normally pulls you in. That’s okay. In fact, that’s great. In our everyday lives, we can seek out the things that inspire us, but SPARK is all about responding to whatever comes your way, no matter what.

A piece might anger, bore, or confuse you. Then what? I say, put your feelings into your work. Anger is a great motivator, of course, but why can’t boredom or confusion push you too? Try to draw “confusion.” Write about a character who’s world weary. Describe or illustrate dullness in the most poetic way possible. All I ask is that you respond to the work, not the creator.

And, of course, be respectful. Think twice before posting on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter that the piece stinks. We’re human, thus judgmental; I get that. But a) taste varies widely, and what you don’t like another person might love; and b) it’s simply not cool to trash a fellow SPARKer or their work.

Keeping these things in mind, so long as you create something new using the inspiration piece as your start, there really is no wrong way to do SPARK.