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What is inspiration?

Influence is a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.
Person with their arms spread to each side, tilting backwards and facing the sky

Merriam-Webster defines the noun “inspiration” as: “a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions the act of influencing or suggesting opinions the act of drawing in; specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs.”

The Art Comes First (ACF) definition is: “Inspire to be inspired!”

Pot of Inspiration

If you recall (or rewatch) the TEDxTottenham talk, Shaka shares a beautiful metaphor for a Global Village community pot of inspiration where everyone gets to give and take their best experiences and ideas. Sam said he was not the type of person who wished things would happen, but he made things happen. Inspiration is an active, interactive process! You inspire to be inspired.

ACF pays homage to the past by bringing it to the present and innovating it for the future through extensive travel, vintage research, local engagement, ongoing professional training as well as professional unlearning, and pumping the day-to-day lifeblood through its expanding collective by provoking peers with creative collaborations.

Recognising ACF’s globetrotting contributions to local economies, AirBnB recently featured the duo in its Quicksand series to talk about what keeps them inspired on the road:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Now, recognising the role others play in the formation of our own worldviews, at your own pace, research the work of the following creative individuals who have greatly inspired ACF at different points in its brand development. Can you spot their influences?


  • Peter Doyle
  • Edward Curtis
  • Seydou Keïta

Which of these names are you already familiar with?

Whose work surprised/inspired you the most and why?


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Art Comes First: Exploring the Intersection of Style and Identity

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