inspiration tips creativityFeeling inspired can be tough at times, especially for artists who have a 9-5 job outside of art. We may be too tired to think straight, or distracted by our daily routine. In such situations, we have to search for sources of inspiration and creativity.

Inspiration ideas are all around us – everywhere an artist ventures, who they speak with, what they experience, and everything an artist does outside of the art field.


Whether you are experiencing artists block, or just need some ideas on where to look for artistic inspiration, this article should be for you.


20 Creative Ideas for Art Inspiration


Touch People with your Art - Click Here!The first 6 inspiration ideas were discussed in our article How to Overcome Artist Creative Block and Get Inspired.

  1. Examine your culture.
  2. Reminisce about early childhood.
  3. Consistently use an artist sketchbook.
  4. Create numerous artworks simultaneously.
  5. Look at the art of other artists online and at art galleries.
  6. Try out a new artistic medium.

  7. Listen to music

    boats cod fishing atlanticListening to music always sets a mood while painting and creating art.

    Whether it is soft and mellow, or fast rhythmic tunes, the music will help to clear your mind from distractions. If you are accustomed to one type of music, but still are feeling uninspired, listen to something you have not before. One idea is to put on a favourite album from your teenage years. This might get your creative juices flowing once more.

  8. Take Lots of Photographs

    Carry a camera wherever you go and take lots of pictures.

    Photograph anything that catches your eye. Whatever your style of art, you will develop a better eye for composition than you ever thought possible. Occasionally review your photographs and select the best for printing. Either create a scrapbook or photo album which can be examined for ideas, or pin all the best images to a wall.

  9. child beach hikeRead a Book

    Reading stimulates the imagination.

    If you are a frequent reader already, attempt reading something completely different. Thoughts may spring to mind that never occurred to you, and you may end up feeling more inspired.

    Keep a sketchbook nearby so ideas may be transferred as you imagine them.

  10. Take a Hike, Boat Ride, etc. 

    Get outdoors, and go for a walk along a trail or beach, or for a boat ride, and clear your mind.

    Nature is always inspiring. There is so much natural beauty that most of us miss out on every day. Also take a sketch book and camera along sometimes, and sketch or photograph anything that appeals to you.

  11. sky photograph oceanStay Healthy

    Being physically fit, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep have direct affect on inspiration.

    It can be difficult to feel creative when over tired and not exercising regularly. 

    The more healthy we are, the better our chances of finding inspiration.

  12. Listen to Dreams

    Dreams have inspired many artists throughout the years. Some dreams are very vivid, and inspiring.

    I have actually dreamed about uncreated paintings at times. Has anyone else experienced this?

    It helps to have a sketchbook near your bed in case you wake up from a particularly interesting dream. Record it right away while it is clear in your mind, or it will most likely be forgotten by morning.

  13. dreams seagull skyCollaborate with Artists

    Consider doing a collaborative project or artwork with other artists.

    Every artist is unique, and has their own unique perspective and ways of looking at things. You may learn to see things differently, and might feel inspired to create artworks that would not have came to mind otherwise.

  14. Do not Always Focus on Good Ideas

    Good ideas are generally hard to come by, even for the most talented artists.

    Not every artwork is a true creative success. Assuming that you are stuck for inspiration, think of ideas you have put aside because you thought it was mediocre. The point is, to keep creating. As long as you produce artwork, there is always the chance of seeing something in your painting that inspires another.

  15. children beachLook at Child Art

    Children create with such simplicity and directness.

    They create based on what they see, feel, and know, without any preconceived drawing or painting conventions.

    Creating along with children can help reveal a new way of looking at things.

  16. Talk to Senior Citizens

    Visit a senior citizens home, or talk to your own grandfather.

    Listen to their stories of how things were before you were born. They know these things first hand, but we have to picture them in our minds. Imagination often leads to inspiration.

  17. boats ocean fishingTime for Inspiration

    Create at the time of day you feel most inspired.

    Some artists are night owls, and can think more clearly at night. Others become inspired more in the daytime. If you are feeling uninspired because you are painting at a particular time of day, endeavour to create at a different time.

  18. Hobbies and Pass-times

    Think about your hobbies and pass-times.

    If you are interested in certain television shows, movies, sports, video games, etc., you may find inspiration there. Try switching through the cable channels repeatedly until you see something interesting that inspires you.

  19. inspiration nature oceanMaking Art for Art’s Sake

    Create for the sake of creating.

    Many times we get bogged down with trying to think of themes to paint, or creating a certain way. Paint and create art because you enjoy it, not always because you want to create a work of art. Focusing on your medium more than your theme or subject can aid in developing more personal techniques, which may lead to bursts of inspiration.

  20. Communicate More

    As artists we tend to spend a lot of time alone creating in our own little world.

    Interacting with other people, having conversations, and being more sociable can help to accelerate inspiration.


What inspiration ideas do you have to share with us?


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**All Photographs by Graham Matthews…


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  1. When I need inspiration for a painting,I open a random book and turn to a random page.I then close my eyes and point to three random words.I arrange these words into a cohesive phrase and that becomes the title for the painting.It works!Try it!

  2. indeed good workable ideas as i know from practice.

  3. @Anonymous
    That is a very good art inspiration idea! Thanks for sharing!

  4. My mother was a respected DC artist. She let me take art lessons at the Corcoran Gallery for one year at which point she concluded I had no talent at art. She gave me opera lessons instead. For 45 years I dreamed of large technicolor acrylics that I wanted to create. After she passed I began painting. I've painted over 120 vivid acrylics in three years. Yes, the artistic longings we experience in dreams are real and should be taken seriously. I'm now a joyful artist.

  5. Very clever indeed!! My humble advice: look arround you, study the socio-political events , look at your people and be engaged as an artist. Be a fighter and create in order to improve.

  6. Great list! With a 3yr old in the house it's only been the last few years that I've been inspired by a young artist. I've actually done a collaboration with her ;-) I bravely let her loose on one of my acrylic paintings with a sharpie pen!

  7. Thank you - kids are so innocent and inspiring - here is a pic of her drawing -!/photo.php?fbid=387869994573793&set=a.380786498615476.102429.130490346978427&type=3&theater - and here it is it edited and finished -!/photo.php?fbid=389303511097108&set=a.380786498615476.102429.130490346978427&type=3&theater - her latest thing is photography, she's busy right now taking pics of my artwork from her perspective - thank goodness we have a waterproof and shockproof camera!

  8. Thank you for sharing these excellent tips and guides. It is definitely provides helpful and informative insights to every individual.

  9. more often then not, i sit down with my sketchbook and want so badly to draw, but i can't come up with any ideas. so i pick a random song from my playlist and listen closely to the words for anything puts a distinct picture into my head. then i draw it! interpreting song lyrics thru drawings has become my favorite way to create art!

  10. When you feel you need some inspiration or quiet time to trigger your imagination, view our living healing art live and in motion at Main gallery at Come by whenever you need to take a break to refresh your spirit or your day.


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