Being inspired is much easier said than done. It can be challenging at times to find the right mood and drive to get the creative juices flowing. If you are an illustrator working on a major project or you just have to draw something specific for an upcoming project, there are methods for pulling in the inspiration you need to get the job done. Here are just a few examples of how to stimulate the senses and find your own creative muse.
Explore Photo Sharing Sites.
With your laptop in hand, you can easily reach inspiration by looking at the work of others. What is great about photo sharing sites is that you can browse hundreds of photographs and prints from a variety of users. Some are professional photographers while others are just average photography enthusiasts who are passionate about their travels and surroundings. From here you can explore new regions and focus on topics that may spike your creativity such as:
The possibilities for categories are endless—especially when each user submits a one-of-a-kind piece. You can gather inspiration on your drawings and illustrations by observing colors, shapes and differentials in the overall concept of your favorite photos. You can also mix and match ideas to come up with a plan or concept that will really stand out in your portfolio.
Open up to Online Idea Boards.
Everyone has heard of Pinterest, but do you really know how to use it? Learning how to maneuver around the website can really help boost your creativity and give you a virtual idea board anytime your ideas run dry. Set up an account and start creating different boards. Label each board based on things that inspire you the most. Maybe the Tuscan countryside inspires you or Japanese Cuisine. Set up boards for each topic. From there, you can start pinning photographs from other users and from websites. Follow other users of similar taste. Once you follow their boards, you will see endless new pins that you can re-pin and add to your main idea board. Turn to Pinterest whenever you need to rejuvenate your senses.
Visit Local Gardens and Parks.
Sometimes getting out of the office is all you need to spark creativity. Explore local botanical gardens. This is often free or very low-cost and allows you to take in your natural surroundings. Plant and tree types may not be what you are wishing to draw but can spark hidden ideas that will lead you to a productive sketch when at the table. Don’t forget to bring your pad or computer with you—if you feel enlightened and inspired on a quiet park bench, you may be able to get your project finished right then and there.
Hit the Books!
Maybe you feel you have gone through every page of every book on your shelf. Now it’s time to turn to your local library or museum for inspiration. Focusing on old and new, glance through books with illustrations that inspire you. Don’t just stick with authors and illustrators you know, step outside of the box and look toward new authors and different genres. You may find that a new style or new take on an old scene may give you new stimulation and ideas you have never thought of before.
Chime in on Cityscapes.
Even if you are not a city person or an urban dweller, you can find a lot of spark and revelation within the heart of a city. Check out the people, how they interact and dress. Look at building architecture and explore architectural elements of the exterior and interior of each place. You may find shapes and colors that will get your brainwaves moving in a creative direction.
There are many ways to launch your creative side to get drawing. Don’t be afraid to explore new and unknown places—you never know what may spike your inspiration.