23 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Art

Inspiration Doesn’t Always Come Easy

Many creators know how intense emotions and situations can compel them to create. How many love songs have you listened to over the years? How many poems have you read that capture your deepest feelings perfectly? We can easily be inspired by heartbreak or moments of joy. Our intense experiences beg to be documented and given eternal life through a new creation. Those moments can inspire even the least creative person you know. But what happens when inspiration doesn’t come easily or when life doesn’t give you any intensity to reflect upon?

You just have to look a little closer.

Art is Part of the Human Experience

Anything we experience can be art. Everything we experience can be a source of inspiration. The intense moments are easy. The mundane experiences require a bit more work on your part, but I promise you inspiration can be found.

In order to get more fuel for your art, you need to experience more. Or at least reflect upon the experiences you’ve already had. You need input in order to create output. Whenever I am lacking in inspiration, I jumpstart my creative brain with the following:

23 Ways to Find Inspiration

  1. Go outside. Take in nature.
  2. Talk to new people. Join a club, use Bumble BFF, talk to strangers at a coffee shop, start a conversation with someone on the bus to work.
  3. Talk to other artists. Share your creative process and feed off one another’s excitement for art.
  4. Collaborate. Start a project with one or more other creators.
  5. Wander to new places. Try visiting places in your town you have never been to.
  6. Travel. Go to a new neighborhood, city, state, country, or continent. Basically, just get out of your own world for a bit. It doesn’t have to be far.
  7. Read more. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, opinions, plays, etc.
  8. Journal, free write, and sketch regularly. Always have pen, paper, or art supplies near you.
  9. Absorb creations of others. Go to art shows, museums, concerts, plays, etc..
  10. Listen to podcasts. Choose random subjects and expose yourself to new ideas and perspectives.
  11. Watch documentaries. Pick random topics and hit play. Doodle while it’s on.
  12. Learn a new skill. Take a community ed class, enroll in a local community college course, use Skillshare or YouTube tutorials.
  13. Try something new. Go snorkeling, go on a boat tour, enter a competition, sing karaoke, dance in your living room, teach a class. If you haven’t done something, try it. If it’s outside of your comfort zone, even better. (Avoid harmful activities, obviously.)
  14. Go to events that feed your other passions (sports games, trivia night, etc.)
  15. Watch/Listen to Ted Talks. Creative or non-creative.
  16. Try new food. Sample foods from different cultures and expand your flavor palate. Try a new recipe tonight.
  17. Share family stories. Connect with those you love and listen to stories from the past.
  18. Move your body. Find ways to make your blood flow. Even if it’s just a walk through your neighborhood.
  19. Shake up your routine. Drive home on a different route. Try a new grocery store. No matter how simple the change, break out of autopilot.
  20. Be alone with your thoughts. Scary, right? Silence your devices, remove distractions, and sit with your thoughts. You don’t need a purpose. Just sit. (Have pen and paper available if ideas start flowing.) (Read: Embrace Boredom as a Creator)
  21. Reduce time-wasting mindless activities like scrolling through social media. Your brain is neither resting nor working during this time. Choose one. Don’t numb yourself by scrolling.
  22. Rest. If you’re depleted, learn how to really take a break. (Read: When it’s Okay to Wait For Inspiration)
  23. Volunteer or get a part-time job. This exposes you to new people, new situations, and breaks routine.

Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere

There are only 23 items on this list, but there are many other ways to find inspiration.

Inspiration doesn’t need to come from existing creative sources. It can come from unexpected places. Literally, every experience you have in this life can be creative fuel. Good, bad, ugly, painful, joyful, beautiful, surprising, confusing, mundane. Emotional or unemotional. Give yourself opportunities to feel the full spectrum of emotions through a wide variety of experiences.

Experience + Your perspective = Art

Live as fully as you can to keep the inspiration flowing.

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P.S. You probably know by now that I am here to help artists with these posts. If you need help with your online branding, Instagram account, or just want a creative accountability coach, then check out my consulting services. You can easily add a session to my online calendar now.

Further Reading: