While doing my 'Sketch A Day' series I have had to find ways of getting inspired in order to keep up with the task of creating something new in my sketchbook each and every day.
Here are ten ways that I keep the creative juices flowing. Here's hoping that they help you as well!:
1. Listen to the beat- I often find music to be quite inspiring and often have images forming in my head as I listen to certain songs.
2. Walk it off- If the weather is nice and I'm experiencing a bit of a block, I take a stroll. While I'm out and about I take the time to check out the wildflowers that are blooming in the neighborhood and will often take pictures of them with my phone to use in future pieces.
3. Grab some magazines- I often find inspiration while thumbing through fashion magazines. If you ignore the merchandise that they are trying to sell and start looking at the photos from the perspective of figural poses or interesting faces, then you being to find inspiration easily.
4.Go down memory lane- I will often take photos of things during my vacations that I intend on painting at a later date. Ironically enough, I often forget about them and they end up sitting in either a photo box or in a folder on my computer. While clicking through photos from past vacations I'm often found by the creative bug.
5. Become an art teacher- I don't mean literally, of course, but giving yourself projects is a good way to keep yourself creatively active. Some simple art projects could be to draw/paint a self portrait, still life, etc. You could give yourself a theme to illustrate or the task of illustrating a poem or short story.
6. Step outside your comfort zone- Another good way to keep yourself inspired is to challenge yourself with a new medium. If you haven't done a simple pencil drawing in a long time, then hop to it! If you only ever use white paper, change to black. You've never used pastels before? Now is a good time to try it.
7. Look at art (duh!)- Looking at other artist's work is obviously a good way to gain inspiration. If you don't have a museum or gallery near you, you have plenty just a click away on the internet. If nothing else, head to your local library and grab some art books.
8. Get involved- Getting involved with other artists is also another way to stay inspired. Places like www.deviantart.com are a good way to meet and interact with other artists. Check out your local area to see if there are any paint outs or other types of meet ups with artists in your area.
9. Open your eyes- Being more aware in your life is a very good way to find inspiration. We go through our days half the time in a semi-awake state. When you start to pay attention, you'll realize that your friends and family are often a good source of inspiration. Weddings, anniversaries, births, and other events might not be happening for YOU, but I guarantee that you know someone who is experiencing these. Just a trip to a local restaurant with friends can often give you some inspiration for a few sketches or painting.
10. Practice makes perfect- When in doubt, it's always helpful to practice drawing hands, feet, facial expressions, etc. With each sketch and study you do, you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable with rendering them.
Lastly, taking a trip to your local art store is certain to bring forth an eager desire to create. Art stores are to an artist, like toy stores to a child. You want everything in it, and will often be unwrapping things before you've even made it out the door. Heading to the art store for a new fangled pencil/ pen or paintbrush is a good way to stay excited about creating.
How do you keep your creative juices flowing? Which of the ways mentioned have you tried? Did you find it helpful? Which way will be the most difficult for you to try?
Online museum websites:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tate Britain or Tate Modern