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10 Ways to Stay Artistically Inspired

Updated on August 23, 2013

Finding inspiration and staying motivated to work on projects is one of the hardest aspects of being an artist. It's easy to get stuck in the "I'm not inspired" pitfall that keeps people from starting on any project. Below are some helpful ways to stay inspired.

1. Subscribe or Follow People who Inspire You

One of the easiest ways to stay inspired is to subscribe to people whose work you find inspirational. Whether it's following a Facebook page, Tumblr or blog, subscribing and constantly seeing the work of another artist who you look up to helps spark your own creativity. The very act of seeing work being produced, especially if it's a regular stream of work being produced will help drive you to go out and do some of your own work.

You may also find that over time you'll begin to lose interest in this person's work. This may be due to the fact that they have changed their style and moved in a different direction, or it may be a change within your own interests, in which case you may feel inspired to find something new to work on.

Staying inspired is often a matter of just viewing the world differently.
Staying inspired is often a matter of just viewing the world differently. | Source

2. Learn a New Technique or Skill

A great way to inspire yourself is to add a new skill to your arsenal. If you're unfamiliar with some sort of technique in your field, reading up on it in a few books or googling blogs about the subject matter may help spark a fresh take on your work.

Having knowledge of all aspects in your field will help you understand each stage of the process better. You may find that learning a new technique will show you a different way to create your work. These different ways are all helpful whenever you are problem solving your next project.

3. Browse the Internet for Inspiring Works

The internet makes it easier for artists to share their work. It also makes it easy to find new and inspirational ideas. A very easy way is to just search google for blogs relating to whatever you're interested in. Bloggers make life a lot easier because they are very good at scouring the web for interesting points and new emerging artists.

Exposing yourself to new artists and different perspectives may help spark your creativity. Browsing through your Facebook feed or favorite blogs with your morning coffee is a great way to start off the day right.

The illusive inspiration never comes if you wait around for it.
The illusive inspiration never comes if you wait around for it. | Source

4. Revisit Old Projects

I often find that whenever I'm stuck on a project, going back to projects that I liked or have done in previous years can help provide motivation to keep trying.

Reviewing past projects gives you the insight into what you can improve on in future projects and also helps you relive the feelings of success and joy that you felt when you first completed the project.

5. Flip Through Your Idea Notebook

This may seem a bit odd, but browsing through your old ideas and projects you've placed on the "back burner" may help to rejuvenate your will to work on your own personal projects. The passion for the arts stems from the love of creating and working on meaningful work.

I've found that always having that project to work on in your spare time is a life saver when wading through unrelated part-time jobs and other uncreative, but necessary parts of life.

Creative friends and colleagues help maintain inspiration.
Creative friends and colleagues help maintain inspiration. | Source

6. Surround Yourself with Creative Individuals and Friends

Nothing helps inspire a person better than another person. Whether it stems from a twinge of jealousy or a burst of renewed creativity, having friends and colleagues close-by who are as creative and active as you are will no doubt help spark your own creativity.

If you don't have any friends or know anyone who is in your field, online forums and Facebook groups are a great way to meet new people that are interested in your field. Local craft fairs, shops or gatherings are also good places to look into.

7. Watch a Documentary on an Unfamiliar Subject

Some of the best ideas can come from unfamiliar and new experiences. Learning about cars or about meteorology can be very beneficial and give you new material to use in your projects. You may feel inspiration from hearing someone's heart wrenching story or you may find the last piece to making your science fiction theory fall into place.


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8. Join Contests and Competitions

Participating in contests and competitions gives you a reason to create a project. I personally love the deadlines as it keeps me from procrastinating and forces me to actually complete my project. Of course you want to make sure that you're not discouraged if you don't win anything. Instead of entering to win, go into each contests thinking that you'll have the opportunity to try something new.

A lot of contests have specific themes or forms that you have to follow. This can be a great way to stretch your limits. Just don't be discouraged by not winning, and if you do win, it's a wonderful feeling to have other people approve of your work.

The environment you work in plays a huge role in your creativity.
The environment you work in plays a huge role in your creativity. | Source

9. Fill Your Environment with Creativity

Decorate your work space with pictures, toys and things that inspire you: prints from your favorite photographer, quotes, toys from your childhood. All of these things can help remind you of where you came from and who you are, as well as provide some motivation to start working toward your dreams.

10. Change Your Routine

If you're feeling a little overwhelmed and creatively underwhelmed, try switching things up for a while. If you normally do your best work in the morning, try working in the afternoon or the evening. Falling into the same routine can lead to feelings of mundane tasks and create a sense of boredom.

Try going outside if you normally work inside or just experiment with your tools and see what happens. Never wait for inspiration to happen as you can often wait forever and never feel inspired to start working. I usually find that once I break past the initial start of a project and through myself into it, that I end up inspiring myself and the project starts to take shape.

Going outdoors can be a great, refreshing way to renew your creativity.
Going outdoors can be a great, refreshing way to renew your creativity. | Source

What is your favorite way to stay inspired?

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Stop Making Excuses!

I'll be the first to admit that I've put off many, many projects by making excuses. This idea is bad, no one will like it, I'll never be able to do it, I'll start it tomorrow.....blah blah blah.

Being able to sit down and actually produce something is a step ahead of a lot of people. Many people want to write books or learn to paint, but they never get around to it because of different excuses and reasons.

I've gone for months without creating any of my own projects because of work and helping out other people with their projects, and I find that it's hard to sit down and do work for myself. However, once I actually do work on something, I am left wondering why I let something so important to myself go.

Creative people need to be creative. There's always an empty feeling if you don't work on your own projects. So, make time for yourself. You deserve it. Even if it's only a short 15 or 30 minutes, you'll feel better afterwards.

Finally, I'll leave you with one a couple of my favorite videos to watch.


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great ideas, Noelle. We just need to find our focal point and use it to get inspired in photography. Nice hub!

    • Joel Diffendarfer profile image

      Joel Diffendarfer 3 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

      Clear and to the point. Easy to navigate and read. Well organized with great selection of media. Very professional and legitimate content. Great writing well worth the read and a reread. Keep up the outstanding work!