Inspirations are a vital element in creating whatever medium of art you prefer. Even though inspirations can be found almost anywhere, it’s still hard to find sometimes. However, one thing is for sure: if you look around you from left to right, from the sky, and to the ground, you will certainly find it. In this article, we will discuss how to find inspiration as an artist to avoid creative burnout.
One of the worst things for artists is having “one of those days”-- no inspirations, no ideas, no motivation and will to create something. You may feel that you’re the only one experiencing that, but believe me, you’re not the only one. As artists, it’s inevitable for us to have creative burnouts or creative blocks. We get that from time to time but that doesn’t mean that we should stop creating works of art during a creative block period. Instead, we should try to search for inspiration from other artists, from nature, watch art tutorials, etc. so that we can overcome this struggle as artists.
Creating art during artistic struggles is a herculean task for all artists in various forms of art. But sometimes, we just got to dig deeper. Creative block is not just lacking ideas and inspiration as an artist and losing motivation to create art. It is also the lack of satisfaction that you get after seeing your finished artwork, telling yourself that “it’s ugly,” “something’s not quite right,” or “it lacks something.”
Things that You Can do to Find Inspiration as an Artist
Every artist may have a different taste in art, but these tips can help you regardless of what visual art you prefer. Here are some of the things that you can do to stop your artistic block for you to create new artworks again:
1. Look at Nature from Time to Time:
Everyone loves nature because it encompasses all things aesthetic. From the sky, from the trees to the flowers and a walk to the forest, you can never go wrong with nature. This doesn’t necessarily mean to draw the flower or tree that you saw, but you can incorporate what touches you the most when you see something from the environment--it may be a color scheme, pattern, or an abstract element. I like to collect leaves, flowers, etc. during times of creative block, and I usually dry press them so that I have something to incorporate in my future mixed media artworks.
2. It’s okay to pause for a while:
Sometimes, we tend to overwork ourselves in creating art and that is why creative block hits us in the subsequent days. You shouldn’t be ashamed of taking a break for a short period because forcing yourself into doing something when you’re really tired and burned out can cause negative side effects on your mental health. Instead, do something that can fire the creative flare inside you such as watching movies or TV series, drinking a cup of tea or coffee, read a book, listen to music, watch free art tutorials online, etc.
Once you feel that you’re well-rested, then you may continue doing art again.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new:
Don't just stick to one visual art form, but try and innovate your artistic methods and techniques from time to time. Looking at art magazines, connecting to artists online, searching for photo inspiration online are one of the things that can help you generate new ideas and techniques that you’ve never considered before, just be open-minded and surely, ideas will pop into your head.
4. Connect yourself to other artists:
You don’t have to go to art exhibits or art museums to find inspiration. Sometimes, it’s just there online waiting to be discovered. Being in touch with your fellow artists, regardless of their artistic field, can make you feel that you’re not the only one struggling with the art block especially when you talk about the matter. Thus, they can give you advice and ideas for free while you also build friendship and connection at the same time. Remember, as long as you're open, you won’t be the only one learning from them because they can also learn from you, too!
5. Don’t be afraid to imitate:
There’s nothing wrong with copying another art form. Pablo Picasso, one of the world’s greatest painters once said, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” This doesn’t necessarily imply that you should copy the whole piece of art. But rather, take some qualities that you want to imitate and apply them to your art. There’s an art style that is based on this concept which is called Appropriation or the use of pre-existing art and giving it minimal or no changes at all.
Running out of ideas is pretty normal for artists. What’s not normal is not trying to find ways to keep you inspired. If you feel like you need to pause for a little, don't be afraid to do it. Come back if you’re ready to do art again and step out of your comfort zone when you do. Thus, it would also help you if you challenge yourself to create art every day or join art challenges that you see online can help you find so many inspirations as an artist.
One thing that makes artists burn out of ideas is expectation towards one’s self. Don’t be a hard critic on yourself and remember to create art for art’s sake. Having this type of mindset can lighten up the artistic struggle and can make creating art more fun on your part.