Jan
6

3 Easy Ways To Find Inspiration

Posted by: Lyra Pappin

Do you love painting but find it intimidating to begin?  If you are new to painting, it can be overwhelming to face a blank canvas, but it isn’t just novices whose wells of inspiration run dry.  Many seasoned pros, hobby painters, and artists in general, can suffer the same setbacks. 

Whether you call it a dry spell or maybe “Painter’s Block”, this can affect more than your paints and canvas, but your general attitude towards life.  Whether painting is an outlet you crave or an artistic venue that you are just started to craft, it can be incredibly frustrating not being able to begin.  So where do you go for water when the well dries up?

There are many ways to get out of a creative slump and you can make it quite easy on yourself that all stem from the same concept: look for inspiration, literally.

Walk the Walk

A great way to begin a new era of creative inflow is by heading outdoors.  The simplicity inherent in nature can be enough to move you towards trying to capture the images and feelings you experience.   Different times of the day can evoke different emotions, so try shaking things up by waking up early to watch the sunrise.  Or, go for a walk at dusk and enjoy the cool colours of the night.

If you live in the city, you can either take a train, bus, or drive out to the more rural areas of your region.  Alternatively, city-dwellers or those on the outskirts can head into the heart of the action for some people watching.  Moments between lovers, an elderly romantic couple, or a heartwarming scene between a father and his children can all provide the impetus for new artistic thoughts. 

Although it’s more conducive to creative flow to think positively, you can also focus on the negatives occurring in both nature and social life.  The fragile state of the environment and people’s coldness to each other can also provide inspiration for new pieces of art that carry a weighty statement.

Museum March

Although it can sometimes be daunting to look at the great artists of the past and current innovators, it can also be a very stirring creative experience.  Absorbing great works of art can bring out the best in you, whether you are critical of a piece, or in awe of it.  If you don’t like the way an artist has worked, it might remind you of your own strengths and tastes, which you can continue to develop at home.  On the other hand, if you are impressed or view something you had not seen before, it can bring out new ideas that you hadn’t considered before.

With smaller galleries and exhibits opening and displaying pieces from lesser-known artists, there are now more opportunities to view art and challenge yourself to find a place amongst those on display.

Online Options

A quick and dirty way to find inspiration is to do the opposite of what you might think.  That is: copy something.  Search online for images that inspire you, that reflect your taste and personality and then try to recreate them yourself.

This is an especially good exercise for young artists, or those just starting out in a new medium.  It can be difficult to stare at a blank canvas and know how to translate images in your mind onto them. Starting with something concrete gives you the right motivation to begin as there is less fear and a defined finish.  You obviously can’t make any attempt to sell these pieces or put them in an exhibit, but it’s a great way to get started.

For more experienced artists, it can still be a fun challenge to recreate great works that you admire.  This is a chance to work on your technique and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  The worst-case scenario is that you get a more “abstract” version of the original! Who knows, you might even like it better.

An Eye For Art

No matter how stuck you are feeling just remember that inspiration can come from the most unusual places.  Whether it’s a glance outside or a quick Google search, if your eyes are open wide enough, you will find something intriguing.


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Submitted by:

Lyra Pappin
Toronto, ON, Canada


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