I took Visual Art every year in high school (that's 6 years of art!) and now I'm carrying out a Design course at Uni and trust me - I know how it feels to be baffled for a creative, unique and expressive piece of artwork. Over the years I've done some pretty sloppy work, but I've also compiled some work that I'm actually proud of, and although the outcome is extremely important, it's imperative as an artist to realise how you got there and what inspired the piece...
So if you're feeling artistically bummed out, here are a few little tips that will keep you motivated to 'wow' your audience with a super creative piece of art.
- Be interested in YOU
You might be interested in politics or soppy love stories; everyone is their own person and whatever you have a genuine interest for will help you come up with an expressive idea. By distinguishing your interests, you can come up with some pretty unique conceptual social commentary. Also, as you're working on what interests you, you keep that motivation throughout your entire art making process.
- Do some reflection
Go deep and think about life. Similar to the previous point, reflecting on your past life experiences, good or bad, can help you out conceptually and could result in an artistic and personal document of time.
- Let your friends inspire you!
Turn to your best mates because they're wonderful, inspirational people. It doesn't matter if they're crazy creative or not, hearing about what things are inspiring others around you really opens up your mind to fresh, new things that you aren't familiar with. Embrace these ideas and experiment with ways that you can incorporate them into an artwork.
- Explore art galleries
Don't just visit the gallery that you've been to 100 times before - visit as many as you can! Do some research and look for galleries in your town, look for galleries that focus on different aspects of art, look for art studios! Most of the time, entry to art galleries are completely free! This is a perfect chance to be inspired, so when you see a piece that you like, snap a photo (only if you're allowed, of course) and write down the title and artist name.
- Let the lyrics speak
You listen to music every day, but you don't really focus on what message each song is conveying. Try to listen to, look at and analyse lyrics and you'll soon realise that you can find some amazing songwriting that can inspire an artwork. I highly recommend looking at lyrics of artists La Dispute, M.I.A and Arctic Monkeys.
- Reach the unreachable
You might think that you'll never be able to get in contact with the artist of your favourite piece from that popular art gallery... but you might just be wrong. Yes, they probably do live a hectic lifestyle and are crazy busy, but if you shoot them a positive and concise email, you may get a reply. Take this opportunity to praise their work and to ask for any professional tips specifically on what you need help with - definitely do not waste their time. Otherwise, if they don't have an email or if they simply cannot get back to you, browse through ALL of their works - if you liked one of their pieces, chances are you'll be interested in their other works! There are some brilliant resources on the net that analyses and discusses artworks, which can be extremely useful to your practice.
This email tip obviously doesn't apply if you want to contact artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, Pollock, Duchamp etc.
- Turn to the internet!
Sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, Vimeo, Instagram, as well as blogs offer daily artistic inspiration to every one of its users. Essentially, sites like these are like an ever-changing mood board and they inspire us to create. So if you follow the right accounts, search through relevant tags, you might just find something that sparks your artistic mind!