Top Tips for Finding Inspiration
Having a lack of a inspiration is a horrible experience, you feel lost and not at all what direction to go it. It’s when you have all this potential creativity and absolutely no idea what to do with it. There has been countless times when I have had an overwhelming desire to create but been unable to figure out what to turn that creativity into. Here are some things I’ve learnt over the years that can help kickstart your making process.
View as much as you can. Whether its via email, print or in person viewing as much art as you can will help. Look at a piece for a while and think critically; why do like or dislike it, what parts of it are really successful, if you were the artist what would you have done differently and what is the art saying to you?
I’ve dedicated an earlier post to talking about the daily sketchbook and why they can be good to have and when you’re lost for inspiration they can have the answer. Look through it and there’s a good chance you’ll see things you really enjoyed doing or a drawing you wish you had done in a different medium or something you feel isn’t right about a piece. Then do those things, redraw images using the skills you’ve learnt since, try out that new method or explore a method more. It is unlikely that you’ll have an entire book filled with your own drawings and not get any inspiration back from them, particularly the early ones when you’re skill wouldn’t have been as good as when you finished the book.
Now it’s easy to get bogged down with meaning and concept and the idea that art has to mean something profound. It can just as easily mean that you really like playing with paint or destroying and remaking things. Art is about interacting with the viewer but that doesn’t mean it’s got to be saying a message and be serious, the interaction could be showing them how one material reacts to another or letting them know how much you hate a certain thing or that you’re really just a clown in a disguise. My work after all is about creeping people out, not scaring them but making them a bit nervous in a way they don’t fully understand. Well that and having fun.
The point I’m trying to make is that when all else fails just do something. Forget about the meaning or the concept and create for the sake of creating. One piece leads to another and meaning will create itself. Ever looked at something and wondered what it would look like if it had this instead of that. Well make your own version that has that.
Follow the fun. If something looks like fun do it and if it was do it again a little differently. If a process bores you go find a new one. These are rules my practice is based on, not just because it s how I work best but because of what informs my work and keeps my inspiration high when I’m not creating. When I’m not creating I am consuming. Popular culture is everywhere, I play games, I watch YouTube and movies and read books and comics and my work has never been as good as it became when my work became about these popular culture things. You must have something in your life that isn’t art and you can take so much inspiration from that. You have to love what inspires you for it work and what do you love most? The things you spend your free time doing, the people you bring into your life even the foods you eat can all be big sources of inspiration, it just takes a while to realise how great that can be.
These aren’t all the tips there are, these are just the ones that I use most and that have been the hardest for me to learn. I hope that you can get some benefit from these and not spend quite as long wandering around in the darkness without inspiration.