One of my favorite books is, "The Art of Monsters, Inc." It's a collection of artwork, created by the artists at Pixar and famous illustrators, to inspire the creators while they were developing characters and settings for the film.
I love this book because it's devoted to the free flowing ideas of different people all given the same seed and asked to allow it to grow in his/her own way. The drawings and paintings are referred to as "inspirational artwork" and they inspire me too.
They're inspirational for me because all of the art together becomes testimony to the joy of process which offers a different gift than the greatness of any particular piece. This is a book of process, of different minds seeking and searching from the same starting point. Its value for me goes beyond individual images and into the dynamism of creativity and the energy of being a part of it.
There is an aliveness to the pages, a vitality to the energy of exploration that helps me shift from my concern about outcomes and back into excitement about allowing something new to happen in my work (and my life). I've always found this the happiest and most productive way to create: to be playful, to explore, to free myself, and to allow discovery. In this light, the outcome is a just a natural byproduct of my joy of being engaged in life and creating, rather than a stressful well-planned, well-executed journey to an end.
"We don't live to arrive safely at our deaths."
~ Robert Holden
From the Inside