How to Get Ideas For Your Artwork

You finally have the time to paint and then the reality sets in — you have no idea what to create.  It happens to the best of artists and sometimes, finding inspiration is the first step into making a masterpiece.

Everyone has been there at one time or another.  Even Jon Rafman, an artist who is known for his work on the impact of technology on contemporary life has probably had a few roadblocks. Getting motivated to create isn’t difficult, but sometimes we just need to be set in the right direction. 

Here are a few ways that you can use to get you started.

Create every day:

Sounds easy enough, right?  But what if you don’t feel inspired?  Well, Jon Rafman would tell you to make sure you set aside time each day to do something that will form a creative habit.

Maybe that’s taking a few minutes to scribble on a piece of paper or swipe some paint across a canvas.  After a while, you will be accustomed to your daily dose of creativity. 

Make lists:

If you write things down, you tend to carry the tasks through.  It’s also a great way to keep your ideas organized.  Artist Dina Wakely makes lists which can be cathartic and generate inspiration for her artwork.  She shares them in her book, Art Journal Courage.


Do you have old paintbrushes lying around or materials that are taking up too much space?  How your workspace functions is a large part of how you function as an artist.  Make sure you are purging regularly so that your space is in working order and not a storage room.  Fill it with supplies that you are actually using.  Consider donating items to another artist or even an art school. 

Make mistakes: 

Don’t get discouraged if you make a mistake, in fact, embrace them!  Sometimes, a simple mistake can even inspire new creativity.  This means, don’t be intimidated by the fear of ruining an art piece and allow it to hold you back from pushing your creative boundaries. Art is all about taking a risk, so embrace those mistakes and you may find new possibilities await you. 

Take a break:

Sometimes, when we feel uninspired or stuck at an idea, simply getting up and walking away from it for a bit may be all we need.  Get up, get away from your work space and do something else.  When you come back, you’ll likely have a fresh set of eyes and can continue your work as you had intended.

Art is all about being creative.  So take these tips and apply them to your routine and you may find yourself coming up with a great new idea in no time.

Post Author: Paul watson