5 Tips for Finding Inspiration for your Artwork

Sharone Stevens
My Journey to Becoming a Watercolour Teacher
15th March 2020
7 Tips for Looking After your Watercolour Brushes
12th August 2020
Sketching Leaves
 

Do you ever find yourself staring at a blank page, feeling the urge to paint or draw something, but you just can’t seem to find any inspiration?

I’m sure we’ve all been there, right? You’re raring to go but you just don’t know where to start.

Here are a few of my top tips for getting yourself out of that creative rut!

 

1. MAKE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL SPACE FOR CREATIVITY

The first thing I would suggest you do is clear any clutter you have. This may be a pile of books or papers on your desk which need tidying away or it could be that you’ve got lots of things going on in your mind. All of those little distractions and feelings of chaos can keep us away from that magical place of creativity!

If you feel like your mind needs a bit of decluttering, I always find that grabbing a notepad and pen and doing a complete brain dump, emptying my head of all my thoughts, really helps to clear my mind. I know that I can then put that list to one side and come back to it later, and happily tell my brain that nothing is going to be forgotten so it can relax!

Also, make sure to remove any distractions – whether it be the television or your emails constantly popping up. Take some deep breaths, maybe put on some relaxing background music – whatever works for you to make sure you’re relaxed and ready to focus on creating!

 

2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THINGS YOU LOVE

Now we've cleared the clutter, next start thinking about how you can surround yourself with things that bring you joy. I’m a big fan of Marie Kondo and how she encourages you to only keep things in your home that spark joy and enhance your everyday routine.

These things can bring you a sense of peace which can really help you foster your creativity. This can easily be underestimated but it has such a positive impact on your mindset!

So, what brings you joy?

For me, one thing I love is nature. I have a few lovely leafy plant pots that surround my desk and, whenever I can, I have vases of tulips or other seasonal flowers to brighten up my work area. I also have all my paint brushes lined up in pretty pots on the edge of my desk and some of my favourite artwork on the walls. I know that when I sit down at my desk, I will instantly feel relaxed and in the right frame of mind to get creative.

How can you make your surroundings more conducive to creativity?

 

3. PAY ATTENTION TO THE THINGS AROUND YOU

Wherever you are right now, have a look around and start noticing little things that could inspire you.

This could be anything from the fruit or vegetables you have in your kitchen, the colours or patterns in your children’s books, or the way the light is reflecting on objects around you and casting shadows.

Perhaps get a change of scenery and go for a walk.

Whenever you see something inspiring - an interesting doorway or building, or the shape of the clouds in the sky - take a photo and store them in an “inspiration” folder on your phone. Or collect some fallen leaves or flowers and take them home to draw.

Sharone Stevens

There is inspiration all around us, if you look for it!

You may also want to keep a notebook or ideas journal. Sometimes I will wake up in the morning and have a brilliant idea for a design which I know I will forget if I don’t do a quick sketch or make a note about it to prompt me later. Or I might see something that inspires me when I’m out and about, so I always try and have a notebook close-by to jot any ideas down. These are great to flick through when you come to wanting to create something later on and need some ideas!

 

4. CREATE SOMETHING EVERY DAY

By creating regularly, no matter how small, you will find that you have more ideas. Honestly, creativity breeds creativity!

I would recommend to anyone interested in building a regular creative hobby to keep a sketchbook. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you have to create a finished work of art every time you sit down to paint. Instead, you can use your sketchbook to spend time exploring your colours or doodling patterns or objects. Ideas will naturally start to evolve from this!

Having a dedicated time every day, or at least regularly, to create is not only going to give you books or pages full of inspiration to refer back to but it will also really help improve your skills and knowledge!

 

5. LOOK THROUGH YOUR OLD WORK

Sketchbook

If you’re still struggling for ideas, take a look through some of your old artwork, particularly pieces that you enjoyed or that worked well. Try a different take on them. Use different colours or scale them up or down. This is a great idea if you just want something to help you breakthrough the rut and get you back into a rhythm of creating!

The main thing is to JUST START.

Start doodling and let it evolve. Don’t overthink it. I’ve definitely been guilty of this and I know that if I just sit there trying to force a perfect idea or waiting for inspiration to come, it won’t! So, just pick up your pencil or paintbrush and start. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Choose a topic and start experimenting and exploring!

I hope these tips have been helpful for you!

If you have any other good tips for finding inspiration that work well for you, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

 

What's next?

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As I launch this blog, I am working hard on my website and content to make sure it offers you tonnes of value for your creativity - from inspiration and motivation to tips and knowledge! So have a look around and keep checking back over the next few months as it evolves :)

2 Comments

  1. Sowmya Karthik says:

    Best 5 inspiration tips.I would love to try and implement it in my passion and develop my skills and knowledge sharone.Daily practice is the first hard step for me.So I am going to make it happen.🤗😊

  2. Suffi says:

    Best!!!! I’ve been looking for motivation for a long time now. The idea to dump the brain thoughts on a paper and then create with a happy empty mind is just brilliant! ✨
    Loving the amount of information you’ve concentrated in this blog. Its so helpful! Thankyou so much!

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