It all comes out in the wash

Bob Hoskins, The Clash, The Sopranos, and Glasgow washer wummin.

I just can’t get enough of them. Sources of inspiration, that is. And the fab four above were just a few of the sources for this week’s creative brainstorming chez Word Up.

Bob Hoskins, not only because he was just bloody fantastic (whaddya mean you’ve never seen Mona Lisa? Are you mad? Get out there and nab yourself a DVD of it, right now…), but because he seemed like a really decent, ordinary bloke who had a mighty, mighty talent. I’ll take a role model like that any old day of the week, thank you very much.

The Clash not only because they happen to be the best band in the world, ever. But also because they took gigantic leaps of creative faith to avoid being stuck in any kind of artistic and musical rut. (BTW, it didn’t always come off – the triple album Sandinista! could have done with some serious pruning – but you gotta admire their self-imposed creative challenges and refusal to play by the rock’n’roll rules.)

And I regularly take a moment to gaze adoringly at the postcards adorning my office wall from the American TV series The Sopranos. My god, that really was writing. I ended up falling deeply in love with some of those characters, and half of them were murderers. Bada bing!

Get the picture? I don’t need to possess a tenth of the talent on display from so many of my own creative powerhouses of choice (I wish…) to benefit from the inspirational fallout that coincidentally comes my way.

Just as well, because as someone in the business of trading in words, I have a constant need to feed the creative wellspring. Words don’t necessarily come pouring forth exactly at the time I need them most, so I gotta feed the machine, and keep the grey matter stoked up with fuel. Food for thought, eh?

But I’m not fussy, no way Jose. I’ll grab inspiration from whichever source it comes, it just so happens that it often flows from other people’s creative genius. That Bob Hoskins could transform from callous, cold-hearted crim to jumping through actorly hoops alongside an animated rabbit fills me with awe. That The Clash could go on a musical journey all the way from White Riot to Ghetto Defendant in just a few short years makes me wanna bow down. As for the creation of characters like Carmela Soprano and Paulie Gualtiere? Man, they blew me away…

Yes, I am a bit of a culture vulture, and my own creative training plays no small part in the mysterious and inexplicable process that starts with the germ of an idea and ends up with a final draft. But often, my own inspiration comes not from creative corners, but from ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

I swear, it never ceases to amaze and delight me when good folk do something simply smashing. So what if it’s not art, acting, writing or music? It all comes out in the wash, you know. When ordinary people step out of their comfort zones and into challenges and creative thinking, that’s what I call inspiring.

So all the hail the eight bold Glesga girls who recently started a wee commercial revolution in their own back yard. These awe-inspiring women saved a few quid every single week until they had enough to start their own laundry business in Provanmill. Bada bing, bada bang, bada boom!

Ladies, we’re not worthy.