Staying inspired in a world that seems so devoid of magic can prove itself to be an obstacle to the creative mind. The key is to always stay aware. We are creatures of habit; we tend towards the same restaurants, clothing stores, cereals, and toothpaste etc. When there is so much sameness surrounding us it can be hard to produce new ideas, works, and innovations. But in the wise words of one of our creative predecessors “Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.”
“Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro
The key to unclogging the creative pipes is to let yourself see new things in the everyday journey. Yes, venturing into the unknown and experiencing new places is an unparalleled means of artistic stimulation, but most of us are of modest means and unable to take but a few of these inspirational adventures.
So, what I do to stay inspired is mark down little things, places, quotes, sights and the like that I encounter and go from there. These aren’t full sentences of fully rendered drawings, they are simply ideas jotted down, oozing with the possibility of becoming a complete work or series. My cataloging of what inspires me doesn’t exist in one sketchbook or tab on my computer—it is sporadically sprawled across notes and journals and sketchbooks and my phone.
Blockage is an inevitable part of being a creative, but knowing how to see new things in the same places is vital to the survival of an artist or innovator. The mind has the capacity to interpret what we physically and emotionally experience; so let it run wild and romp through the endless fields of possibility. Look below the surface and beyond the clouds; turn over rocks and flip things upside down and inside out. Switch it up a little bit. Employ your inner child and think about the “what if’s “and “could be’s.” Create stories and new creatures and other worlds; never get bored.
A lack of references also tends to clog up the flow of creativity. When making is your passion it can be hard to allow yourself to look at too many people who do the same or similar thing as you because you wouldn’t want to chance tainting your style with someone else’s; but to put it frankly, that is highly irrational. Look to predecessors and colleagues of your trade. Don’t copy but learn. Take what you like and leave what you don’t so that you can inform your style and process in such a way that you are constantly progressing and perfecting your practice. But always look forward at what could be, only check the proverbial rearview mirror for retrospective. Stay inspired, always.