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I've been asked many times where I get my inspiration from.

I think it's having an enquiring mind and being permanently excited by the details of things around me. However, sometimes even I run out of inspiration... so what do I do then?

There's many options ... you are welcome to use some, none or all of these (or use random.org to choose which one to start with!)

  • Leaf through your old sketch books / piles of ideas and choose something to work on

  • Go for a walk somewhere new - if you only have time to walk round the park walk round it the other way as that will give your brain something new to look at

  • Phone (or meet up with) an arty friend

  • Go to an art exhibition, gallery, or a concert - give your brain, your ears and/or your eyes something new to look at

  • Look at the Tate's (or any other gallery's) online art collection

  • Look at Time Out magazine to see what's on - just thinking about whether you want to go to something can refine your ideas about what style or medium currently excites you

  • Try doing a piece of work in a new medium - if you usually work in oils try pencil, if you normally work in fabric then try paper. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece.

  • Watch this video by Hennessy Youngman from his "Art Thoughtz" series, it's called "How to make an Art" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVFasyCvEOg

  • Do the "youtube random" ... start with a video less than 3 minutes long, follow any one of the recommended links at the end (as long as it's less than 3 minutes long) ... repeat 5 times (or 3 if you're in a rush!), use the final video as the starting point for your art exploration! You may end up somewhere quite different!

  • Ask your friends on Facebook for inspiration!

  • Look for your local Open Studios website and visit some artists webpages (or visit the artists if their studios are open!)

  • Book yourself on a course to learn something new, or do an "art exchange" with a friend who works in a very different medium or style

  • Choose a colour. Find 3 objects from around your house in that colour and draw them. Restricting yourself to one colour makes you want to go and play with all the other ones when you've finished

  • Put several objects in different opaque bags ... jumble them up so you don't know which one is which ... draw one at a time by feel without looking inside the bag.

  • Try drawing / painting / sculpting with your other hand

  • Get some plasticine or modelling clay and play with that

  • Read up on some of the mixed media techniques over at Cloth Paper Scissors magazine

  • Look up one of the many "daily art inspiration" prompts

  • Read blogs of artists who inspire you

  • Try working on a different scale - if you usually work small work BIG, and vice versa

  • Try working in a different artist's style - copy the style of Van Gogh, Monet, Kandinsky, Klee, or anyone else you fancy who has a distinctive style - see how it makes you feel to work that way.

  • Try working at a different time of day (if you're too tired when you get home from the day job try getting up early one morning and having a go instead), or in a different location.

  • Take a look on your bookshelf and read some of your art books, or go and support your local library!

  • Join a professional organisation (for instance, the Guild of Silk Painters!) or subscribe to a magazine which inspires you.

I hope that these tips are helpful - I'll add to this post as I think of more! Please feel free to add your own in the comments.


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September 2015



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