young woman watching movie
In the Studio

3 Movies That Spark My Imagination

I love movies and often wish I had pursued set design or special effects. Perhaps that’s why movies inspire me when I hit a dry patch and need to refill my creative well. Here are three I find particularly inspiring, each for a different reason.


The first time I saw this film, the sheer creativity and beauty of it blew me away. It still wows me to this day.

While some people complained about the story, the imagination behind that world draws me back over and over. The colours alone fire me up while the alien flora and fauna make me look closer at my own rules about how things must look. For sheer beauty, this film is among my favourites.


In addition, the story behind the story reminds me that some things just can’t be rushed. Cameron nursed his idea for many years until technology caught up to his vision. He knew what he wanted to bring to life and refused to compromise.

I have a quote that reminds me of this in my studio. (Unfortunately, I can’t find who to attribute it to.)

The season that is unrushed has the most beautiful harvest.


I share this movie with you because of its message. It’s a reminder that our dreams and gifts are given to us for a reason. If we turn our backs on them, something inside festers. We live a smaller life than we are capable of.

As Hugo, explains

If you lose your purpose, it’s like you’re broken.

hugo-460x307People who deny their own dreams often reveal their pain by stepping on the dreams of others. We see it when the old man in the toy shop takes something very precious to Hugo. However, the old man unwittingly sets things in motion for his own redemption.

Like a peat fire burning underground, creative dreams burst out when least expected. What we do at that moment is up to us but if we’re willing to open up to possibility and take a risk, we can find ourselves again. And who knows where that might lead!


downloadBased on the true story of Nelson Mandela and the South African Rugby Team, this movie shows us that art has the power to create change.

The poem, Invictus inspired Mandela, becoming an integral part of how he conducted himself, both in prison and when he became the leader of his nation. The movie follows those early days when it was crucial to break down the walls of suspicion and bring healing. He accomplished this in part by sharing his vision and this poem with the captain of the rugby team. Together they worked toward a common goal, winning the world cup to reignite national pride.

Invictus is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley, written in 1875. It remained unpublished until 1888. It didn’t even have a title when it was first made public. Henley never could have imagined his poem would have the impact it did.

As an artist, this movie reminds me I really have no control over where my art goes and the impact it may have. My only responsibility is to create and share.

Art has the power to transcend time, lasting long after the artist has left the scene. It has the power to change and circumstances well beyond our lifetime. I think that’s very cool.

After all, what might have been lost in our time if Henley had abandoned his poem to a desk drawer?

What movies inspire you? Share in the comments so we can watch them, too!

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