Finding inspiration to create something can sometimes be the hardest part of creating art! There are so many things we could do as artist, but we all go through a block or loss of creativity sometimes. Honestly, I am writing this, because I too could use some inspiration on what to do for my next piece. There is no quick cure for finding inspiration…. Unless you are on the cusps of falling asleep, when most people find inspiration or an idea, just for it to be lost to them by morning. We always say we will remember it, but we never do. Just know that there are many ways to find inspiration, but no one way will work for every one, or work for you every time. You have to change it up, look outside the box, or triangle, or what ever contraption your mind is stuck in. I have a few methods I like to use personally that I will walk you through, and I would love to hear something you may try or have tried in the past. We can all help each other to find inspiration to create something new.
Method 1: Music
Obviously! right? I mean who in their right mind doesn’t listen to music when looking to be inspired? A lot of people actually. I had a boss once that hated music! If you can believe that, it was hard for me at first too. Really it is true though, there are people who don’t listen to it, or have just never found the right music to sooth their soul. If you are one of those people, I suggest trying it. Go to Pandora or Spotify or You Tube, the list goes on. There is some kind of music out there for everyone that can and will inspire you. I’ll admit, I am not always the best at finding new stuff to listen too, or finding the good stuff that stirs something inside me. Though I have found, that when I am looking for something specific, changing the song every 3 seconds doesn’t help. Try picking a station or artist you have never heard before, either by searching randomly or asking a friend. Then just listen. Really Listen.
I don’t mean just to the melody or chorus, but to all of it. Feel the music, try to imagine it playing out in your head. Sometimes when you try too hard to find something, it will never come. You need to relax, and let your mind slip away into it. Feel the emotion that was put into it, try to understand the depth that artist went to, to create what you now hear. Let the image that comes to mind inspire you into your next creative piece. Try to paint the sounds! I know that sounds really weird, but if you could imagine a specific sound being a certain color, and then see it as a line. What would it look like? short and choppy? or does it flow and twirl and dance in the air? This seems ridiculous, but have fun with it. It is good to step out of our comfort zone every now and again.
Method B: Exercise
This is probably my least favorite ways to find inspiration. I am not one for working out, but when all else fails and I need the juices flowing, it can be a great help. Now this doesn’t have to be a full-blown work out in the gym. Maybe just a walk around your neighborhood or apartment complex will get the job done. Personally I will take my long board out and go around a few streets till my legs hurt or my block is gone. Yoga is a good one too, mixing meditation with a work out can clear out your bad energies.
The whole point is to get your blood flowing! How can you get a new idea, if you don’t get some new blood flow to your noggin. Stand up and jump around in one spot, chase your dog around the house, or cat. I have cats, and my youngest I taught to play tag. That totally counts, and it’s weird and it can get some weird thoughts going. I can see the look on your face now…. “she plays tag…with her cat….and calls it exercise.” To be fair I never claimed to be normal. I don’t believe artist are normal. So get weird while getting your blood flowing.
Method III: Meditation
This is totally different from doing yoga and meditating… slightly. Picture this: you are in your room, candles lit everywhere, maybe in a pattern, Incense is lit and smoking in front of you, you are sitting on your most comfortable pillow. The lights are off or have scarfs on them to help set the mood. You have soft music playing in the background drowning out any background noises. Take a deep breath in through your nose for four seconds, you hold it for seven, and let it out for eight seconds, and repeat. At this point you should start to feel relaxed. Try to empty your mind of everything besides the count of your breath.
Sometimes the best way to find a new idea, is to not think at all. Things will sometimes just come up naturally if we give it the space to do so. Just like a closet, our minds are full and cluttered from day to day tasks. We are always sorting our thoughts and setting some things aside, that we forget to go back to later. By taking time to empty our thoughts completely, one of the ghost in our closet just might throw that idea at your head you have kept skimming over. Usually one of mine will, and it is sometimes a start to something greater, other times I just fall asleep. Which goes into my next method!
Method Four: Nap!!
what?! yes! Take a freaking nap! If you are a dreamer like me, this is a great way to get inspiration! If you don’t really dream, or ever remember them, obviously this one may not be for you. I have found that a lot of my paintings or stories have stemmed from the dreams I have. Granted my dreams are more nightmares, so when I go off of them, they come out as darker pieces. Though that isn’t the case for everyone. If you can remember your dreams, maybe there is something in there that stuck out to you, that you can use for inspiration to create something. For myself, a 30 to 45 min nap will give me something to work with. Now this isn’t every time, and I can’t use this method all the time, but every now and then it works out great.
My Recent Method
The most recent thing I did was the nap method. I try this most days. It just sounds better calling it a method to gain inspiration, than what it really is, me being tired from work. Anyways, it is what brought me inspiration for my most recent painting. It isn’t a replica of what I saw in my dream, but it is just as creepy. The whole point of these methods is to get you thinking of something new. Napping and dreaming is usually what brings me most of my inspiration for things, I just find that method usually turns out darker things. Like I said before, I am riddled with night terrors, but when I put it out there, and paint what I saw or put it into a story, it tends to get it out of my head Permanently.
There are thousands of things you can do for inspiration. The list is never ending really, you just have to find something that works for you. I find the most important thing to do, is change things up. Try something you haven’t done before. Like if I am no longer remembering my dreams or having inspirational ones, I go drive around listening to music, or go over old ballet stretches from college till my mind clears. We have to step out of our daily life and into another realm of possibility, which can be hard some days. Though, we all know how rewarding it can be! I hope that one of these methods helps you as they help me. I would list more, but I am afraid y’all will grow tired of me droning on. Maybe I will share some other methods in the future. If you would like, share some things you do to gain inspiration to create. When I run out of ideas or mine no longer work for me, I will come looking to you, the reader, to inspire me forward. As artist that is all we can do, inspire and encourage one another to keep going, to keep creating. For this world is all the more beautiful for it.