All creators, beginner and professional alike, can struggle with generating new ideas, especially when they have tight deadlines or a massive workload. Luckily, this challenge can be solved.
Doing five simple exercises described in this article can significantly boost your creative thinking. Read further to learn how to overcome creative blocks and make your own design inspiration gallery.
How to find art inspiration
Inspiration is when you feel incredibly excited or motivated to do or create something special. It can come from various things in life, be it art, other people, inspirational quotes and stories, or even striking nature views.
If you’re struggling with finding art inspiration, consider following these tips.
Draw inspiration from fellow artists
To do this, you can visit galleries and museums, browse online websites related to your niche and beyond, read the best design magazines, and check out the portfolios of other creatives on Behance and Dribble. Although, don’t limit yourself to the creators from your niche. Sometimes, you can find something inspiring from another type of art: music, illustration, design, or photography quotes, ideas, and projects.
Create art every day
Even if it’s not perfect, make the process of art creation and idea generation your habit. This gets your creative juices flowing and helps come up with new ideas more easily. You can find daily creative challenges in books about inspiration that can help you with the process.
Join an art community
It can be an online group you find and join on Discord, Reddit, or other websites and chats that creatives visit. Or, opt for offline with creatives from your town or neighborhood. Share your work, ask for feedback, and collaborate with others. Learning from and supporting each other can be inspiring.
Spend time in nature
Nature can be a massive source of art and design inspiration when you pay attention to details. Try observing the world around you to spot interesting color combinations, shapes, and textures you can recreate later in your art.
Reflect on your personal experience
This can help you find topics that trigger or interest you and come up with relevant ideas. For instance, you can create a series of art objects related to your childhood memories, family traditions, or cultural roots. Or, you can make photography art with quotes from the people you know and love.
Inspiration can be found in unexpected places. So, try being open to new experiences and ideas, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t find them immediately. Sometimes, the more you think about new ideas, the more interesting they turn out to be.
What is an inspiration gallery and how do you create one?
An inspiration gallery is a collection or display of images, artwork, or objects that you can use to boost creativity or generate new ideas. Inspiration galleries can be found in various contexts, including art museums, design websites, social media platforms, and even personal collections of images or items you find inspiring (for instance, photo quotes from famous creators in your niche).
To create your own inspiration gallery that you can access anytime, do the following:
- Pick a format
It could be a physical gallery (vision board, wall collage, sketchbook) or a digital one (created on Pinterest or Notion). If you’re working from home or don’t mind carrying a sketchbook around, a physical format might be a great option. Working with physical objects can be very entertaining and inspiring, for instance, cutting out pictures from magazines and enhancing your ideas with things you can find at home—dried flowers, textile pieces, and other design elements.
However, the digital version could work better if you travel a lot or just like to have access to your inspiration gallery anywhere, any time.
- Start gathering inspiration
Collect design items or images that inspire you. These can include photographs, magazine clippings, artwork, quotes, postcards, or any physical or digital items that resonate with you. They don’t necessarily have to be related to a specific idea or project yet, just inspire you.
- Organize and categorize
Arrange your collected items into categories or topics based on what inspires you. For instance, you can create sections for travel, art, home decor, fashion, or personal goals. You can also add them to a mood board related to a specific idea or by sorting them into categories, like quotes, illustrations, photos, etc. This makes it easier to find particular inspiration when you need it.
- Update regularly
Keep your inspiration gallery fresh by regularly adding new items. First, this will help you make the process of looking for new ideas and objects your habit. Second, your inspiration needs can evolve; you might decide to switch to a different style or just look for something new. So, the more diverse your inspiration gallery is, the better.
To sum up
If you find it difficult to come up with new ideas, use the tips listed in this article to optimize the process. More often than not, looking for inspiration somewhere you didn’t look before is the quickest way to overcome creative block. Maintaining an inspiration gallery and updating it regularly can also help you quickly get the right references and ideas for future projects.