You know how important it is for an artist to create. You know that creating is the ONLY way to become a better artist. But you also know that waiting around for random inspiration is a BIG waste of time. So where DO you start?
Every piece of art starts with an idea. And it’s where you get this idea that’s interesting. One approach is to wait for random inspiration. The problem? You never know when that random inspiration will strike – it could take a long time before you even START creating. But that doesn’t mean we should throw out the idea of inspiration altogether. We just need to be smart artists and take control.
The most dependable way to get good ideas is through something I like to call “planned inspiration.” Instead of waiting for random inspiration to come to you, take action and DO things that bring the inspiration to you. These actions are more than searching for motivational quotes to put up on the wall. These are the things that spark your creativity and get the ideas popping in your head. Some ideas:
- Flip through magazines with interesting pictures
- Read novels and study the stories and characters
- People watch (aka creep on people in public)
- Google something you want to learn about. It can be something COMPLETELY random.
- Watch a video (probably about something besides a baby panda)
- Research artists or people you admire
- Read a poem (or read what someone says about a poem)
Once something has caught your interest, go down the rabbit hole for a bit and see where it takes you. Don’t get caught up in whether it’s the “right” idea or the best idea you could have. Don’t judge it, just see where it goes. Dig in there and see if it’s something you’d like to work with.
Then, and this is possibly the most important step, COMMIT. You’ve got your idea and you WILL create this piece. Not “if the mood strikes.” Whether the mood strikes or it doesn’t, you create. That’s what taking action and not waiting around for inspiration is all about. YOU control what and when you create.
Now, that doesn’t mean that your idea is set in stone. If, halfway through your process, your idea evolves into something completely different, run with it – just make sure keep in mind what changes will mean for the rest of your piece.
The next step is to develop your idea into a PURPOSE for your piece. Learn more about crafting your purpose here.
Got your idea? Learn how to turn your idea into a strong foundation in Step 2.