One of the things I’ve learned from watching hours and hours of Lynda.com videos is that art inspiration takes a certain awareness of the world around you. Using photoshop or illustrator isn’t simply the use of an illustration program. It starts outside of those programs first. It really begins with a good eye and the motivation to look at the world around you.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince
It’s a good idea to rip off mother nature (also learned that from Von Glitschka on Lynda.com). If you look around you, there are so many things to notice: how the light highlights or darkens a tree, how colors change in the light, and how and where shadows display.
Art Inspiration: Go Outside
I enjoy taking photos of leaves, trees, animals, or just capturing the way the sky looks. Sometimes I am inspired by other things such as cracked sidewalks, deteriorating driveways, or peeling paint. These aren’t “mother nature”, but are outside which I wouldn’t have seen had I been sitting behind a desk. I also enjoy creating pinterest boards to help me organize the things I enjoy. Hint: Use the Secret Boards for pins you don’t want others to see.
Next time you are outside, look around and notice these things. They are wonderful teachers. Then go ahead and rip it off–but don’t just rip it off. Make it better. Take a nature walk, grab a camera or even a journal to draw in, take notes & illustrations and keep an eye out and notice how creation displays itself. Let this inspire you personally and in your professional creative work.
It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.