Feeling 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
The first 6 inspiration ideas were discussed in our article How to Overcome Artist Creative Block and Get Inspired.
- Examine your culture.
- Reminisce about early childhood.
- Consistently use an artist sketchbook.
- Create numerous artworks simultaneously.
- Look at the art of other artists online and at art galleries.
- Try out a new artistic medium.
- Listen to music
Listening 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.
- 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.
- Read 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.
- 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.
- Stay 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.
- 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.
- Collaborate 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.
- 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.
- Look 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.
- 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.
- Time 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.
- 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.
- Making 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.
- 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?
**All Photographs by Graham Matthews…