Unusual Places to Find Artwork Inspiration

Every artist desires inspiration to generate ideas for the things they create.

But how or where does one get inspired?

Inspiration can be found in a variety of unexpected places.

You simply need to know how to seek out ideas that stimulate and spark vision into your future creations.

The good news is that inspiration is everywhere around you all the time—you just need to allow yourself to become aware of the many ideas that are in your surroundings.

Sadly, most of us tend to live our lives on autopilot. In doing so, we tend to pass by the very things that will provoke new ideas.

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Take a Discovery Walk

One way to train yourself to find inspiration in your surroundings is to be intentional and turn a simple walk outside into a fun game.

All you need is an open mind, an area to explore, and a camera.

If you really want to simplify things – plan to use the camera on your cell phone.

Before you embark on your discovery walk, set a mental goal that you’re going to take as many pictures of colors, shapes, textures, patterns, and anything else that interests you.

Even if you only walk around the block in your neighborhood, make sure that you are deliberate about carefully looking at everything you see.

When you use this approach, you are certain to find inspiration everywhere you look.

Sometimes I find that I only need to walk five or six steps in a place and stop to look around.

Then I study everything within eyesight. I look at the ground, the gutters, and the trees.

Take the trees, for example. They have wonderful lines, especially during wintertime.

As you take time to study the trees, you start to see all their many fabulous shapes.

Lean in and take as many photos as you can to make sure you capture the variety of lines you see in the trees

Then take close up photos of everything in the area that you’re standing… the trees, the cracks in the sidewalk, the tracks in the road, etc.

Sometimes you might be surprised and delighted to notice an unexpected flower peeking out.

Look at the variety of plants in your surroundings. Perhaps you see some that are light green and others that are dark green.

Capture images of everything you see.

As you do your walk, look for shapes and patterns to photograph.

From manhole covers to front doors on building and houses – you want to capture colors, patterns, and even decorations that you see people have put out.

Take a few steps back and look around to the left and right. But also look up to the sky and down to the ground.

Capture photos of what you see. You are certain to come back and use these as inspiration later on.

Trip the Online Fantastic

You made have heard the phrase “trip the light fantastic.”

Back in the early 1900s, this meant to dance in an imaginative way.

So why not update it a bit to “trip the online fantastic” and look for inspiration online.

From Pinterest to Facebook or YouTube – there are a lot of different artists you can follow to grab inspiration.

Use the same approach you did in your discovery walk to go on a hunt and explore your online surroundings to find lines, shapes, textures, and patterns.

Use your screen capture tool to snag a copy of what you see that inspires you. Save it in an inspiration folder on your computer. (You can do this on Macs by pressing Shift-Command-4. There are many ways to do this on PCs, but you might want to Google “screen capture on PC” to find the best option for you.)

But don’t stop there. Look up magazines online to search for colors that stand out and patterns that you are drawn to.

Use your screen capture tool to snag a copy of what you like, or cut it out if you have a hard copy of any magazines.

Finding Inspiration Around You

When you are intentional and look for inspiration – you will find it in the most unusual and ordinary places.

Look at your kitchen and close in a new way. Find unique textures and color combinations that inspire you.

Save what you find in a folder, on your camera or Phone – and pull these findings out the next time you go to create your next work of art.