How to Find Inspiration For Your Art in Everyday Life



Through my experience, I’ve come to realise that inspiration for your art is not something that needs to be sought in the extraordinary. Rather, it’s the everyday life, with its myriad of seemingly mundane details, that holds the key to unlocking profound artistic inspiration. In this article, I aim to share how embracing the world…

Embrace the Ordinary – Inspiration for your Art

The secret to finding inspiration for your art in everyday life lies in changing our perspective. It’s about seeing the ordinary through an extraordinary lens. This means taking a moment to observe your surroundings with fresh eyes. Moreover, the play of light and shadow during the early hours of the morning or the intricate patterns formed by raindrops on a window can serve as the perfect muse for a painting or photograph.

Connect with Nature

Personally, during walks in my nearby woods, I am constantly in awe of the majestic presence of trees, the way light filters through their leaves, and the intricate patterns found in their bark have been a constant muse for my work. There’s something profoundly moving about standing in a forest, surrounded by giants that have stood the test of time. On one occasion, I was struck by the sight of dawn light, piercing through the dense canopy, casting incredible colours on the pale bark of birch trees. It inspired my piece Birch Sunrise.

Birch Sunrise. Evocative of a blazing sunrise over a Birch Tree forest. Acrylic

Nature is an artist’s ally. Its endless variety of forms, colours, and textures offers a treasure trove of ideas waiting to be discovered. A leisurely walk in the park, a hike through the woods, or even a day spent by the sea can rejuvenate your senses and spark creativity.

Examine the beauty of a single leaf, its edges frayed by time, clinging onto a branch against the backdrop of a stark winter sky. This image could become the centrepiece of a series, focusing on the theme of resilience amidst adversity.

On a routine visit to the local café, I noticed the barista’s methodical process of brewing coffee. The precision and care with which each cup was prepared fascinated me. I wondered how this observation could lead to a series of sketches and eventually, a collection of paintings focusing on the art of everyday rituals and the beauty found in routine tasks.

Dive into the Digital World – Inspiration for your Art

In today’s digital age, the internet is a vast repository of artistic inspiration. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and art-focused websites are just a click away, offering endless visual stimuli. But it’s not just about passive browsing; it’s about engaging with the community, sharing your work, and receiving feedback that can open new avenues of thought.

In my blog post ‘EMBRACING THE DIGITAL CANVAS: DIGITAL ART AS A LEGITIMATE ART FORM’ I share examples of artists creating art digitally. Studying the myriad of intricate works can spark a train of thought that can lead to great ideas in your own work.

I encourage you to explore accounts unrelated to art such as fashion, music even sport! They can offer you a window into worlds of diverse artistic expressions and styles from around the globe, broadening your creative horizons. For example, the V&A museum in London – website here – has amazing diverse collections that can inspire with colour, pattern and form in areas such as architecture, jewelery, embroidery, wallpaper and manuscripts to name but a few. Take a look, its incredibly fascinating.

V&A Museum > Jewellery Collection – Inspiration for your art

Look to the Past

History is replete with stories, images, and artefacts that can inspire contemporary work. By delving into the past, we can discover themes, techniques, and ideas that resonate with our own experiences and artistic goals. Exploring the architecture of old cities can provide a rich source of inspiration.

Here’s an idea. Try creating a mixed media piece after being inspired by the intricate tapestries of the medieval period. Their complexity and the stories they told through imagery and texture is fascinating to me and can influenced your approach to storytelling through art.

Engage with Other Art Forms

Inspiration can also be found in art forms outside your own. Literature, music, dance, and cinema can all evoke emotions, images, and ideas that can be translated into your medium of choice. For instance, a piece of music might inspire a series of paintings, or a novel could give rise to a conceptual art installation.

“In painting I want to say something comforting in the way that music is comforting.”

Vincent van Gogh

For example, French Post-Impressionist Matisse played the violin every day. He appreciated the discipline and focus that it required of him and felt that it helped his concentration for painting. Music was so integral to the work of Chagall that in 2017, the Montreal Museum of Modern Art featured an exhibition: Chagall – Colour and Music.

Marc Chagall working on the panels for the New York Metropolitan Opera’s new Lincoln Center home in 1966, titled, “The Triumph of Music.”

Keep a Journal

An artist’s journal is a sanctuary for thoughts, sketches, and observations. It’s a place where you can freely explore ideas without judgement. Keeping a journal helps in capturing fleeting moments of inspiration that can be developed into more substantial works later on.

One of my favourite artists, Louise Fletcher has a great video on her studio journal practice:

Louise Fletcher – her journal practice.

Example of Everyday Inspiration for Your Art

Here, I would showcase a photograph I took of frozen morning dew on a spider’s web. This image, capturing the delicate balance of nature, it has sparked the idea for a series of paintings focused on the theme of transience and beauty in the ephemeral.

Photo Credit – Simone Woods

Through these examples, it’s clear that inspiration is all around us, waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s the ordinary moments, the natural world, digital explorations, historical insights, other art forms, or personal reflections in a journal, each experience holds the potential to ignite our creative fire. By remaining open and attentive, we can transform the world’s everyday wonders into art that resonates, reflects, and inspires.

About Simone

The art of ebru

Welcome to my artistic world.
I live and work in the beautiful South Downs area of West Sussex in the UK

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