Art is one of the most intimate forms of expression. It allows us to filter through the chaos in our minds and materially translate what we consider to be important. Sometimes we can work for days on end, pausing only to brew another pot of coffee. However, almost all of us hit a roadblock at some point, and for a period of time we find ourselves as good as mute.
Fortunately, there are ways for us to harness that inspiration once more and learn to create again. This takes time and, sometimes, more effort than we’d like. We want you to be able to explore the world and create your own version of it, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our best art inspiration tips—the ones that succeeded in getting us out of our own rut. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Get Outside
The pinks in Degas’ lilies; the fire in Van Gogh’s skies. These artists painted nature as they saw it, but they did have to see it. Viewing the color and texture of nature is often the push one needs in order to create. Even if you’re painting something other than nature, the scent of the breeze and the feeling of the grass against your feet is often enough to produce that creative spark. This is why many artists enjoy plein air painting, a method of painting that allows them to capture nature while it moves. Get outside, take a breath, and see what happens.
Close out of Pinterest and put Instagram aside. The creations of other artists are inspiring, and there’s a time to reference those for ideas, but that time isn’t now. The Internet can be a distraction that robs countless hours we could spend creating our own art. When you’re working, place your phone where you can’t see it and come back to it later. Sit in your thoughts and see what happens when you cultivate your own ideas without outside distractions. Allow yourself to discover what you want to say without any outside input.
Something magical happens when you walk through a craft store. The craft supplies call to you, and all you want to do is grab them off the shelves and start creating. So spend some time purchasing and laying out your supplies—don’t be afraid to carefully prepare for what you’re about to create. You could also try making your own supplies. You can easily make your own pastels or watercolors, and you may find that you’re eager to create art with tools that came from the labor of your own hands.
At certain times, you’ll thrive on a few moments of peace—other days, you’ll find value in collaborating with other people. Camaraderie often inspires creation. Observing the different ways in which you and a fellow artist interpret the same thing can make for an interesting study. Help your friends navigate their creative block, and they’ll help you with yours.