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How To Keep Yourself Inspired as an Artist

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

6 Tips to help your Artistic Inspiration

How-To, Self Help

Author: Kayla Acevedo

As an artist or creative, one of the most coveted emotions we all crave is that feeling of being inspired. Its such a rush when you get that light bulb or “Aha” moment for your next project. If you're anything like me, you get tunnel vision on this idea and it lights a fire under our feet to get moving to see this idea manifest into real life. We work tirelessly and (sometimes) patiently to see this idea and inspiration come to fruition, and it is a journey like no other. However, once that idea has come to life and you receive the fruits of your labor, we go back to that feeling of “whats next?”.

Sometimes, that “whats next” idea comes very quickly and you find yourself back at it again with a new plan to execute. But if you're reading this blog post then chances are you're like most of your peers where that next idea didn’t just come to you as quick as the last. Sometimes we spend so much time and energy on one idea that we forget how we got to that wonderful state if inspiration. As artists one of the biggest blocks that we can have is simply just not being inspired. Inspiration is key to creativity and when there is a void of inspiration we can feel like we are not adequate enough to be creating things. This often leads to long gaps of not creating which could hinder you from your growth as an artist. In this blog post, I am going to teach you a few ways of how we can continue to stay inspired and motivated toward your next art project and your artist journey.

Tip #1 - Clean up / Revamp your space

Every Artist is different in the way they have their area that they create in. Some people like their space to look clean and organized while others find peace in chaos. For me, I’m somewhere in the middle. I like to have my stuff organized and clean, but as I start to work I begin to make a mess and still seem to know where everything is. However you like to have your space, what is key is making sure that it's how you like it, and what brings you to a state of clarity to help with the creative process. Having an area where you feel clear headed is important in the creative process. Sometimes though, we have a clean space (to your standards) but, you still feel uninspired. This is where I say maybe try revamp the space that you choose to create in. If your space is as small as a desk or as big as a studio you have options on how you can make your space an exciting place for you to create in. Amarilys Henderson created an amazing video on Skillshare on how to organize your workspace and unlock your creativity, that helped me tremendously on how to revamp my studio space. You can watch this video for free with Skillshares free 1 month trial! Sometimes all it takes is just displaying your stuff in a different way or adding decorations to your space to get you excited and inspired to create again. I will attach a few pictures of how I revamped my studio space to give you ideas. Make your studio or workspace a place you want to go to and have things that make you excited in that area.

A Peg Board was a game changer for how I organize my paints

Pre-mixing my paints and putting them into bottles also helped me save time and allows me to create with minimal preperation

Adding decorations to the space you create in can really help with motivation, and also help you feel comfortable in your space

Adding plants and aroma therapy can help bring life to your space.

Tip #2 - Make an Inspiration Folder

Having a folder either in your phone or physically of things that inspire you can really help speed up the inspiration that may spark for you. Personally I use Pinterest to look for ideas that inspire me. Mainly I practice abstract art so I like to create boards on pinterest and add abstract art that I find to be exciting or inspirational to that board. But your folders can consist of anything that may inspire you such as (90’s themes, nature, color pallets, people, etc.) Heres a link to some of my Pinterest boards.

Tip #3 - Look at your Role-Models

Looking to people that inspire you is a perfect way to get inspired. Sometimes making a small list of people who inspire you and why is a good way to brainstorm for your next project. For me one example I can give of an artist that inspires me is Max Ruebensal. Sometimes I will go on his instagram page and look at his paintings and try to determine what about his style inspires me so much. For me its the colors he uses and the the techniques he incorporates to make his paintings abstract and fun to look at. His pieces often have a essence of movement and chaos that all fall together perfectly to make the paintings interesting and fun to look at. Another artist that inspires me is is Teyanna Marx (@studiosweet.T). She inspires me because she uses different everyday objects and creates fluid art on it. Everything from charcutarie cutting boards to resin coasters and fluid art ornaments. These two artists and many more inspire me to think outside the box and make my art captivating to the eye and also functional.

Tip #4 - Immerse Yourself in a Different Environment

Stepping away from your workspace or studio and putting yourself in a different environment can also help you become inspired. I’m a big advocate for travel but not everyone has the luxsury to just take a vacation to get inspired. So other alternatives can just be going to your local park, coffee shop, or favorite store to just step away from your everyday environment. It could just be as simple as an temporary environmental change that can spark creativity.

Tip #5 - Play with a Different Medium

Sometimes I honestly get tired of playing with paint and I just have to step away from it for a little and play with another medium that I love, or experiment with a new medium that I've never tried. It really changes your perspective and it could ultimately help you get on the right track of where you want to be. If im not painting I love working with markers and pastels. Sometimes it gives me more control and allows me to be more conceptual and less abstract. Overall, try something new!

Tip #6 - Go Back to Old Pieces

Looking back at your old work can be a moment to show you how far you have come as an artist and show you where you want to go moving forward. Look back and your old pieces and critique them. What could you have done better with this? What would you like to see more of in this style? Do you still like the style that you are executing? These are some questions you can ask yourself when looking at your old pieces. Evaluate them and try to improve. Looking back at your old pieces can almost be like reading a history book. We look back in the past to make better decisions in the future. Treat that the same with your art.

To Sum It All Up

Overall, it is a normal thing for any creative to have a block as to what they may want to create next. We can't always exert great ideas on command, this is what makes us human and not a machine that just pumps out unoriginal art. So, give yourself some grace, and hopefully these tips will help you get back on the path of inspiration and creation!


About The Author

Kayla Acevedo otherwise known as @SanctuarySketches on various social media platforms, is a Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist that resides in Middletown, New York. She uses various mediums to create her art work such as Acrylic paint, , Epoxy Resin, and Digital art. Acevedo started painting with acrylics as a form of therapeutic relief in the year of 2016, but didn’t start publicly showing her art until 2020.

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