How do you come up with ideas
This one is a hard one for me, cause I use to come up with tons of ideas from scratch. However lately I’ve had a harder time finding ideas, or even finding ones I like. Here’s some tools I’ve learned to get the most out of my imagination:
Collect stray ideas
Sketchbooks and journals are my LIFE. I used to keep one of each with me at all times in case I get a image in my head or an idea for a novel. I could easily write it down or make a doodle to remember it later. When I was bored I just started doodling, and it helps to make a lot of sketches. I was taught in school that you have to have one-hundred bad drawings before you get one that is any good. I found that to be very true in my professional life. Plus when you’re bored you can go back in your collected ideas and take one.
Do lots of activities
This goes along with the previous one a bit. Doing lots of things just gives your brain a break, and that can help you make even more ideas. It’s a weird thing with your mind that comes from being “distracted”. This video gives a really good explanation of that But also I found that doing lots of things can also give you the expertise in that subject. It helps if you know a bit of that. Even little quirky things makes for good starters.
Talk to people
You can learn a lot of interesting tidbits from people. Kids say that funniest things, and it lightens my heart. Not only are they really funny but they give you a bit of insight into imagination. Seniors and you elders can give you insight into thing you wouldn’t know, like how life was in their childhood. I found a lot of good things to work with when I talked to my Pop-pop tha had been through WWII—even though he had a horrible experience, he was still so funny and full of life. Anyone can even be an inspiration by themselves. For example, my cousin is really fun to be around. I often find the urge to draw her, and when she’s with her husband I think it’s even more special. Small things like that can really spark a good picture.
Look at others’ work
Not only should you already be looking at others’ work if you’re an artist already, but getting a wide range of images in your mind gives it more to work with. It comes as no shock that someone can find inspiration in other artwork, but it also helps to give you something to strive for. The challenge with this one is that sometimes we feel discouraged when we’re not up to snuff. Try looking at it from a different perspective—remember that they were once learning. Try sending them a message thanking them that they have given you inspiration or helped you in some way.
A lot like looking at others’ artwork, reading books gives you knowledge of what you’re working with. Read books for fun or for research. It could be that you’re reading your favorite book and a scene pops into your head, or you’re doing school work and you learn something about the world around you that you want to draw or write about.
Do random research
Same with reading books, except this can include research on the internet. I find myself in a kind of wikipedia binge sometimes where I’m researching how bolt-action guns work for a novel then end up in ancient folklore or human medicine. You can find things in research you may need for a novel or find a picture of something obscure that you just HAVE to draw.
Watch movies and TV
Out of all the things I think movies and TV inspire me the most. They make me WANT to draw, especially fight scenes or costumes. I’m sure you can imagine what you can create after you’ve just gotten done with that episode of Sherlock or got out of seeing a new movie. (Personally I stick to Sci-fi and fantasy on TV but my movie favorites also include old movies like Back to the Future). Just remember to watch with a critical eye!
Take a break
Your brain needs a break from working on creative stuff once and a while. If you find yourself frustrated, go do something else. Play a video game, watch a movie, make cookies, take a nap… anything. It helps keep yourself healthy and your brain is no exception! If you work it too the bone, then you’ll find you can’t use it when you need it.
Look at childhood drawings or journals
This is the most humorous to do with a friend or sibling. The point with looking at old work is not to just make fun of it, but remember how creative you used to be. Children are ALWAYS making things. They want to doodle, sing, and make believe. I think that when we’re kids, we have no filter, so anything is fair game. Try to go back in time and remember your process, remember what it was like when you were a kid. It can be enlightening but you may also find something you forgot about that gave you so much joy, and you can reuse ideas from your childhood days and remake them!
Remember things you used to like
This kind of goes along with looking at your old work, except it has a twist. Look at things you used to do, like shows you liked that are no longer on or if you used to go outside or played with specific people. I found that since I used to play outside all the time after school, I have a love of the scenes from my old neighborhood. The ideas of those places give me a love of trees and places to hide and run in, and that seeps its way into my works.
Getting new experiences is the point of travel. Take a vacation to a place you’ve wanted to go to, and pay attention to activties and people. You also can’t really exist in a bubble if you go somewhere really out of the way (like another country) and meeting new people gives you more perspective.