It’s a funny thing.  You can’t contain it and it seems impossible to track down; sometimes it’ll blast into your brain like a lightning bolt with no notice at all, and other times you’ll spend months trying to track it down so it can ignite your brain and your creative lobe with fire and flame to get you back to working again.

Like the video above.  The team at DEDPXL wanted us all to come up with something about Inspiration.  I looked out my studio window thinking of what I could do, and as my eyes came back into the studio Muppet Sid was sitting on the shelf.   He wanted to speak.

My brain caught on fire, so I set up some lights, and a microphone and I asked Muppet Sid to talk to me about inspiration.

It can come at you from any angle at any time.  I love movies and film and music and toys and anime and comics and video games and stuff, stuff, stuff.  I surround myself by things that make my brain excited.

These things we do; creating and painting and baking and photography and movies and drawing and drafting and writing and signing – is all a mixture of love and craft and talent and vision and inspiration.  Keep your eyes open a little bit larger when you look.  Inspiration is like The Force – it’s everywhere and surrounds us.  Always be looking.



Sid Ceaser

Sid Ceaser is a commercial, editorial & fine art photographer based in Nashua, NH and is a monthly contributor to DEDPXL. In addition to shooting he also teaches workshops and runs a podcast with designer Dave Seah.

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  1. nobody

    Picasso is often quoted: “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”

    To me, discipline is far more important than inspiration. Discipline is the consistent application of effort, regardless of whether I am feeling particularly inspired or motivated.

    Likewise, Ben Haggerty said: “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint. The greats were great cause they paint a lot.”

  2. John

    Great video, Sid! Thank you for that.

    By the way, do you still have your Boglin?
    I LOVED those little puppets.
    Like you, I often was entertaining myself with comics, games, making my own movies, stop motion animations, etc. I often miss that unrestrained creativity I had as a child. The kind of creativity that didn’t care about preconceived ideas, but instead just tried things to see how they worked, or how they looked, etc.

    Good times…

    • Sid Ceaser

      Last summer I rediscovered that Boglin in a box in my parents attic. I gave him to a small family member whose hands are a little smaller and can fit better within him. He was the first puppet I had that could blink. He was amazing.

      “I often miss that unrestrained creativity I had as a child. The kind of creativity that didn’t care about preconceived ideas, but instead just tried things to see how they worked, or how they looked, etc.”

      I’ve tried to hold on to that. This video is part of that. I’m a little nervous that this video, and future videos that might have Muppet Sid or some other puppet, might be viewed as a little immature, or unwanted, or. . . I dunno. I’m not trying to “kiddie” the site by making this. I’m not trying to insult the viewers. This is raw expression for me. Muppet Sid has no fake voice. He’s me. I’m him. He’s got my entire childhood waiting to bust out of him. It’s part of who I am. I deal with people who make comments to me about being “too immature” in life; my toys, my personal toy photography, my puppets, etc. My wife Sara said one of the things that attracted her to me was that I like simply being myself. I’m almost 40. Some people don’t get what I’m trying to do. And, basically, what I’m trying to do is be myself and share the shit that I love. And that shit is puppets and comics and toys and animation and all this other gunk that makes up my interest. I’m trying to make my 9-to-5 include photography and different ways of seeing things.

      We only get one pass here on this big blue/green marble. Time is too short to give a shit about people that try to poo-poo how I do things, or see the world, or express myself. We should all be sharing and creating and being inspired to show the world how we see things.


      • John

        That’s so awesome you still had that Boglin. I had two with manual eye mechs and others that didn’t move. I played with them so much that I destroyed them.

        I agree with your reply 100%. Not trying to sound like I’m making excuses, but shooting commercially is always a balance of what I want and what my clients want. Most of the time I feel like I’m having to make too many compromises in order to get paid. This is where personal work is important and something I have been neglecting for FAR too long.

        Thank you for the inspiration, Sid!

        • Sid Ceaser

          Absolutely. It *is* hard. It’s a delicate balance to still shoot the way you want to shoot, and give the client what they want. The more I keep sending out promos and mailers and doing client work, the more and more important it becomes to shoot personal work.

          I’m right there with ya, man.


  3. jarWoodson

    “…inspiration is perspiration….”


    Good stuff


  4. Vic Román

    This is rad! We all get inpired by other things. I need this. Currently,I cant seem to find inspiration from nowhere. I cant seem to get over of lossing and closeing down my studio last year. I worked so hard to make that happen and it all turned to crap. I’m back working a day job ,which i’m greatful for cause I could still be jobless. However it’s getting harder and harder to pick that camera up and make something. That’s where DEDPXL come in, it lights a fire in my heart but it’s up to me to do something about it.

    • nobody

      I know how you feel Vic. Sometimes I go through times where I feel no interest or passion for photography. What I have to do to escape it is just take the camera anyway, even if it’s just a point and shoot, even if I’m just going to the grocery store. The pain of missing a great shot is far worse than the hassle of bringing the camera.

      One example: recently I was out running errands and hadn’t brought the camera – ‘I won’t need it, I don’t want to deal with that’ I thought. Right outside the store there was a minor car accident where a car rolled over on it’s side and firemen came and chopped the windshield out with a fire axe to get the person out. There were dozens of missed shots, missed opportunities. If I had had even a cheap point and shoot I could have got some really interesting, emotional photos of a rarely seen event. But I was tired and didn’t feel like bringing the camera.

    • John


      My business took a nose dive back in 2008. I did everything I could to keep my head above water and ended up working 4 jobs (including my business) for a couple of years. I was ready to call it quits. I lost my home. My pride was hurt, and I spent years licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself. Truth be told, it all still stings a little. But I have been getting over it by getting out there and getting work and trying to make up for all the lost time with my wife and kids.

      My advice, shoot something. Anything. That moment when you feel like you don’t want to pick up the camera is THE moment when you should.

      I also recommend a book by Brooks Jensen called (ironically enough) “Letting Go of the Camera”. It’s inspirational and it helped me get through my slump. Also, everyone should subscribe to LensWork. Awesome and inspirational mag.

      Be blessed!

  5. Carlos Sandoval

    Damn! When you think you’re out of fuel, great stuff like this comes out… Sid, thank you very much. I´m in the middle of a creative process and a lotta hard work writing a few short scripts to be developed. It´s costing me a lot of effort, since I don´t have a writer´s formation. I know a couple of tricks of the trade by now. I´m an amateur photographer who wants to see his images move through motion pictures. This is huge inspiration, your video. I believe everything comes at the right moment at the right time, and here, in DEDPXL, a couple of days ago came the John Keatley videos, which were eye openers and now this, you closed the deal with your images and words (via puppet), to keep me hell f***** going! Thanx again and a “BIG” cheers to Zack for creating this place! It rocks!

  6. Eric

    Thank you Sid, this is great! Yesterday I literally just posted this to a small photography forum I’m part of.

    “I don’t know about all of you but I can never feel GOOD about my photos, I always look out and see better photographers. Then I feel I have some great ideas, or what not and I can’t get them out fast enough, or at all. I do not have a model available, I do not have a space to fit the idea, snow is everywhere so outside is a no go for models in normal clothing. I mean, there is a time when everything I shoot I feel looks like ****, like utter crap and I can’t even bring myself to upload it to flickr to ask for critiques. I want to shoot more, I have some great ideas but can’t get them out via camera. I’ve been writing some down so I can remember them in a few weeks when the weather warms up, flowers are blooming, and I can get deep into the wilderness to hunt some waterfalls.

    Meh… sometimes you just need to let go, scream and move on! This is my attempt to beat the winter time blues!!! **** YOU WINTER, melt away and **** off.


    with this photo attached (

    The timing of your post was great, and has me thinking and writing out ideas.


    • Sid Ceaser

      Try not to compare yourself to others. I’m really starting to learn that this isn’t a race. I’m also trying really hard to not spend so much time looking at other photographers work. At least, not in an unhealthy way. It’s hard. I’m following an unpaved path. It’s easy to get sad watching someone else’s path as they travel on it. Ahead, behind – I can’t think in those terms or I start to fall apart.

      All I can do, is do the stuff that I feel is important to me. Find the clients that are the right fit for me. Make images; personal or commercial – that allow me to flex my creative lobe and shoot things in the way that *I* want to shoot.

      That can be really hard. Because it’s unique to each and every person shooting.

      You need that inner voice to yell at you to get off your ass, stop sulking, and go make something. 🙂


  7. Mike Bourgeault

    I’m glad I watched this today, after trying my hand yesterday at my #DEDPXL09 assignment and getting frustrated all to hell.

    If I get frustrated with it tonight, I can just watch this video again.

  8. Ben W

    I looked at the 07:35 runtime on this thing and thought, “fuggit, I’ll check Twitter or something while this plays if it gets boring” (an indictment of my attention span, not of you, Sid, or dedpxl), but I was engaged immediately and throughout. We have very little in common but it is a genuine treat to watch a video like this – to explore someone else’s idiosyncracies and the wells from which they draw inspiration, not just for contrast and context, but for the consanguinity of “ideas.” When presented as plainly and as unambivalently as you have, it’s easily digestible but fulfilling… brief, but with an unexpected and not-immediately-obvious depth, and remarkable honesty – nearly Hemingway-esque. I truly, truly appreciate stuff like this. Well done.

    • Sid Ceaser

      I feel people spend too much time scouring the web looking for that silver bullet that will make elevate them to the next level. I feel they already have that answer in them: bring out who you are and add that to your work.

      Each person is unique on this planet. Your experiences and who you are – there aren’t any other like it. Take the stuff that makes you who you are, and put your lens on it.

  9. Todd

    That video was great! Inspired me to try and bring things I love into my photography.

  10. Sandals

    Very Different but a great video!

  11. Susie

    Iv never wanted a puppet to my best friend till now. Great video great post, inspirational indeed!!!

  12. bottleofbroon

    Are you playing Destiny?

    • Sid Ceaser

      I had picked it up when it came out for the 360, but stopped before the first DLC. I wanted to love it, but at the time they were doing so much wrong that I just couldn’t stay into it. 🙁

      • Adam

        I find myself coming back to this over and over. This is the third time I’ve watched it. And I will be back again next week….

        • bottleofbroon

          I come from a COD fanboy standpoint, I`ve always yearned for a WOW game to hit xboner and Destiny gives me the best of both, yes its sucky ass with so many glitches and people cheesing it just becomes ridiculous. However its the only game that has managed to hold my attention since release which is extremely difficult to do. Cant comment on xbox360 but really like it on xboner

        • bottleofbroon

          you will be back for the weeklies you mean? ha

  13. Axel W.

    Cool video–I find this post very encouraging without being preachy. And for that, I thank you.

    Time to take out /my/ anime toys and shoot them, then. =p

  14. Clifton

    You’re so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve read through a single thing like this before.
    So good to find somebody with original thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is
    needed on the web, someone with a little originality!