You have a blank piece of paper, canvas and want to create something, but where do you start? A few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Creative Starting Points

Just start scribbling. Keep scribbling and looking, do the shapes, lines suggest anything? Maybe, there is the germ of an idea, let the idea fester, play with it over a period of time. When you head hits the pillow close your eyes and let your mind play with the idea. The new dawn could see this being the greatest idea in the world. If it goes nowhere, it is not the end of the world. But, it just be the beginning of a new adventure.

To be truly inspired, you have to learn to trust your instincts. Don’t keep re-drawing an idea too much, or planning every intricate detail of a painting, because producing it will be boring. Many will look at your finished work and feel the same. It will seem to be overworked, and uninspired. Remember, hard work is important, but it’s not as important as inspiration. Sometimes start a final work with only a vague idea of how it will turn out. Let the painting ‘talk’ to you as you create it. Listen to what it has to say and paint accordingly.

If all else fails …

And there is a blank canvas looking at you. Paint a red spot somewhere on the surface. Notice how you can’t take your eye off that spot. Start painting and try to take the emphasis off the spot. It can be quite an inspiring exercise.

If you are really stuck for ideas, try to blank your mind and let it wander. Observe people in the street, watch films, read books, comics, newspapers. Observe the gestures people use when interacting, queuing, eating, whatever. Take these everyday things, make gestured drawings in your sketch book. Use the drawings as a starting point and doodle, let your mind day dream and ponder on them. Perhaps an idea is germinating?

Try to writing down your ideas instead of drawing them. Be very brief, concise and direct. Look at the written phrases and do a David Bowie. Apparently, he would create a long list of words, cut them up and scatter them. He randomly picked them up and worked on what the unique combinations suggested to him.

Don’t over-complicate things. Picasso once said, he spent a lifetime trying to learn how to draw and paint like a 5 year old child. He meant learning to create without inhibitions. Children see the world in simple, straight forward ways. Watch how young children draw – no erasers, no rulers, just pure self expression. Imagine drawing and painting using their uninhibited methods of self-expression?

Don’t be afraid to scrap your work and planning at the last minute and go off in a totally different direction. Don’t be too precious about the idea. As an artist there is always a better idea around the corner. Now wasn’t that where we started?

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