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Where do I get my Inspiration?

When you do any kind of creative work, you're bound to get the question: Where do you get your inspiration? And while everyone will have a hundred different responses to this in their own art practice alone, I thought I'd share 5 ways in which I get inspiration with you.

1. Life

This is a potentially really broad method. I mean, anything I write after this point technically could fall under the category of life. But when I say life, I'm mean the day to day moments where I'm not focused on inspiration, creativity or even having my head in a space that can absorb inspiration. One of these 'life' places could be the dog park, grocery store, walking to the pharmacy, the gym, basically anything that's a daily life activity, and not specifically focused on creativity. This works for me because I like some of my illustrations to be task focused, or relatable to people. I like illustrating some of these 'mundane' moments and elevating them to artwork.

Arguably laundry is the most annoying task, but there is something satisfying about freshly folded sheets, clean smelly linens hanging from a rack, and putting things away in a drawer. I think having everyday inspirations, can take away some of the pressures of searching for inspiration. Just live your life and then paint your day.

2. Social Media (Part 1)

I sort of hate writing social media, because as much as it can be an inspiration, it can also cause a lot of burn out too, because of how easy it is to compare your art or journey to others (I do this on the daily). But since I've gotten a few of my ideas from tiktok and instagram I would be untruthful if I didn't include it. Part 1 is specifically in regards to casual scrolling. Your FYP on tik tok or your explore page on Instagram, or maybe just randomly searching things through Pinterest. It's finding something that you can to capture in paint, from a random seal video to a mouse eating a strawberry.

 

3. Social Media (Part 2)

This side of social media I don't hate at all. In fact, this is one of the reasons I still post so regularly on Instagram, despite the algorithm screwing everyone around over the years. And that's community. I've been on Instagram for over 10 years now with my artwork, and over that time some pretty amazing people have started to follow me. One of my favourite interactive experiences with social media is asking people for suggestions. In my stories I'll ask all sorts of random questions to get people to respond. And the responses always give me inspiration.

            

4. Surrounding yourself with creativity

This includes a lot. Theatre productions, museums, galleries, art markets, small independent shops. All places where you can see something that will inspire you to try it out yourself or borrow elements for your own practice. I'm not sure how much elaboration I need for this one, as it's a pretty well observed practice for finding inspiration. But I will say take your time, take a notebook, and try to notice things in the periphery, not just the main focal point of the event. (Image shows the Toronto Comic Arts Festival).

5. Search for inspiration

Be intentional with your efforts. Go for a walk and look at the graffiti, spend an afternoon in front of a park water fountain looking at the light hitting it, go for a hike with a nice lookout or to a large body of water, and bring your sketchbook or notebook, always bring something to work in or take notes in even if its just your phone.

 

Finally, and this could be an honorary 6th one, but it's really just a culmination of all of them is: have other interests. I found this with studying art at my liberal art university instead of just going to an art specific school. Diversifying your interests and hobbies will bring more inspiration then just constantly surrounding yourself with art. Go to a sports game, go thrifting, try knitting, learn to speak another language, attend community events. All of these things will enrich your artwork and make you attuned to your surroundings. Be curious about everything.

Thanks for reading!

x Rachel

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