Artist Resources

Guest Blog: Finding Inspiration When You Feel Lost

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We all love producing our own stuff. Particularly, I love taking pictures as much as editing them on my computer. It gives me life! I’m able to spend days doing anything else. When you are so focused on your work and everything flows, nothing could stop you… Except for the creative void.

When inspiration is lost, ugh, the world seems to collapse and the drama begins. Well, this might sounds excessive, but you know how it feels. Fortunately, inspiration can be found though you have to look closely for it. How? Think of this like a muscle. You have to work it out every day so it will be strong. Everything is inside you and just have to make it emerge from wherever it is.

Here are some helpful tips that are so useful, at least for me. Grab your magnifying glass because the search begins!

1. Build a great mood

Your feelings are very important when you are working. Depending on how happy or sad you are, your artworks will come out one way or another. This is not news. But not everything relies exclusively on how you feel inside, your emotional state will be affected by your environment, also known as your workplace.

You have to assemble some predisposition around you in order to create something that comes from within. Make yourself comfortable: play some music that lifts you up, try to keep your desk tidy, let the Sun come in or arrange nice lighting, use decorations that make you feel positive, some cleaning would help too… The vibes you are receiving will be reflected on your creativity.

“Not everything relies exclusively on how you feel inside, your emotional state will be affected by your environment, also known as your workplace. You have to assemble some predisposition around you in order to create something that comes from within.”

2. Take a look at writing it down.

I’m pretty sure you are an observer, most artists are. This is how many of us take some daily inspiration so we can transform it into art. From the early sun rays in the bed to the colorful churros street vendor, we all are surrounded by amazing and daily things every day. I bet some of your designs are fed off details like these.

I might not be wrong if I dare to say that your mind is forgetful and you won’t remember most of the stuff is going on in five minutes from now. Don’t be sad, here comes the next tip:

Try to write down everything that moves you emotionally every day. Use a napkin, a computer or take a photograph. Anything that reminds you of any uplifting moment. So you can go through it later to work on new ideas and projects.

“I know stories about amazing pieces of art that were born from some impromptu sketches in the most unlikely moment. Don’t miss any chance to create art, inspiration could be waiting on every corner, be ready for it.”

3. Just read.

Sometimes we are looking for some new ideas browsing online, searching interesting new illustrators or photographers to see what they do and inspire ourselves. And that’s cool. But we are living in a world full of images, videos, media. advertisement… and you might feel overwhelmed and even visually swamped occasionally. If you are at this point, I’m afraid you’re not going to find inspiration but obfuscation, so please, turn off your smartphone, tablet or computer.

O.K. So calm down. Stop forcing your eyes and start using just your mind. How? Very easily: by reading. We are so used to the immediate stuff that we forget about our imagination.

By reading, you’ll be immersed in new realities and you’ll be re-creating a whole new world by yourself. After reading, use all those ideas, energy and learning in your art.

“By reading, you’ll be immersed in new realities and you’ll be re-creating a whole new world by yourself. After reading, use all those ideas, energy and learning in your art.”

4. Go out and talk to actual humans.

I’m not saying you go out and bother people or become the official creepy guy of your neighbourhood. In general, artists use to locking themselves in their own world so much becoming blinded in a loop without any inspiration. You are just saturated and need to unwind.

Common things such as going out, taking a big breath, and not overthinking will be very helpful for you and your work.

In this case, inspiration can be your fruit seller or the library janitor. Wise people are everywhere.

“Also, don’t miss the chance to talk to people you meet. You’ll be amazed how knowing a different point of view from people you don’t know will help you to see things with a new perspective. You can talk to them about any subject, and don’t hesitate to ask them about your current artwork or tell them what you do.”

5. Don’t forget to tell your story.

Has it ever happened to you that you are working on something nice, it looks amazing but you feel something is missing? You are in front of your creation and you feel it’s not completed, not ready to share with the world. And suddenly you feel lost, your muse has flown away. In this situation, have you ever considered what the story is behind your artwork?

We all know a pretty face without a brain is not appealing. The same thing occurs in art. There are times when artists forget about what they want to tell because they are so focused on what they want to show, how it looks.

Try flipping your creative process. Think about what you want people to learn about your creation: write down some ideas, stories and then try to represent it through your artworks. Once you’ve built a solid background, the whole artistic work won’t be that hard.

By providing some meaning to your artworks, it gives much value and it all will make more sense.

“…take a risk every day and open your mind. Your creative impulse will blossom and you will enrich your art a lot.”

6. Above all, art is not square.

Remember how much you hated Maths or Science because problems could only be solved in one way? Then welcome to Art, where there are no rules!

This sounds fantastic, but artists are human, which means they tend to plan everything. Can art be planned? Don’t get me wrong. It’s really nice to be organized, but try not to let your creative tasks become office work. You don’t have to work from 8am to 3pm, do things exactly the same day after day, and then forget everything till the next day. That could be really uninspiring.

Change the rules, don’t be monotonous. Being constant and dedicated doesn’t mean boring.

Do daily challenges. Try new materials in work, learn different techniques, change the route when coming home, walk more often, listen to music from a musician you don’t know, watch movies from a country you’ve never been to, plan to travel abroad, read that book you’ve been avoiding for ages, and visit those relatives or friends you haven’t seen in awhile.

Basically, take a risk every day and open your mind. Your creative impulse will blossom and you will enrich your art a lot.

Find more inspiration from Josemanuelerre in his interview with Redbubble.

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Josemanuelerre

Street photographer of candid shots with a focused style on details and tiny stories. Welcome to my world.

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