Inspiration is key to producing something impactful. It's the one thing that will act as the lifeblood to a creative project and drive it to completion. It's what draws other people to your work and helps you as an artist stay relevant in your field. Why then is it so hard to STAY inspired?
For me, the day in, day out grind of my job can really drain me, especially when I have been working on a project in a particular style for a long time. When you have a job that demands that you be creative and constantly produce usable content, your imagination can start to feel tapped. You start to feel stale.
This is when inspiration feels at its most unattainable. Don't worry though. I have found a simple and fun little hack that can help you jump right back on the inspiration train!
About a month ago I was feeling like I was at a serious creative low point and wanted to break out of it. I read an article in an art magazine that suggested stepping out of your comfort zone (artistically) to give yourself a shot in the arm of inspiration. They offered an exercise where you listen to a song and try to interpret the sounds and feeling of the music into an abstract piece of art using shape, texture, and color. You can use any medium but they suggested using something that you were unfamiliar with to help you think out of "the box".
In my case, I chose to listen to "Epistrophy" by Thelonious Monk and use acrylic paint, foam brushes, sponges, and ink with a dip pen. The result was this...
Would Jackson Pollock call it a masterpiece? No, but that really wasn't the point, was it. The point was to get the creative juices flowing again and it did! I continued listening to the rest of the album and produced the illustration of the pianist shown here at the top of this post. At the end of the exercise I felt way less stressed, much more motivated to tackle my projects at work, and genuinely happy that I learned a few new things working with paint.
One of the definitions of inspiration is the act of drawing in breath or inhaling. If you think about it, when you produce a new piece or tackle a creative project, you are exhaling a bunch of creative energy. Make sure you are taking in as much as you are putting out and you will maintain a feeling of inspiration.
Give that little exercise a try and stay inspired!