We are all looking for something. For love, for compassion or even for cookies. Yet some of us are searching for inspiration. If your day-to-day job involves generating ideas, you should have a watertight technique for summoning your inner artist. To help you out, we asked Beetroots brand artist Natasha Levytska where she finds her inspiration.
Inspiration is a fickle thing. Many have heard of the story about J.K. Rowling sitting on a train, when the idea of Harry Potter came upon her out of nowhere. This is how inspiration typically works—suddenly and unexpectedly… appearing out of the blue. And it’s immensely cool, unless you make a living out of your creativity and need it every day during your working week.
Natasha has learned to control the volatility of her inspiration. “I bait inspiration with scientific methods—research and mind mapping. As soon as I receive a task, I surf through the Internet for information related to my given topic. Then I start composing a mind map. When it gets big enough, I split it into separate pieces and search for associations for each of them. I do this until I find something catchy and then I turn it into art”.
Turn the lights off
Surprisingly, you can find a fire of inspiration if you immerse yourself into darkness. Or at least dim the lights in your room. Several years ago, the Journal of Environmental Psychology published a series of articles, proving that dim illumination is able to spur creativity. According to scientists, darkness allows us to free our passionate artistic self from within. We subconsciously generate more uninhibited ideas when the lights go out.
If your day-to-day job involves generating ideas, you should have a watertight technique for summoning your inner artist.
Take a walk
It’s a well-known fact that physical exercise provokes dopamine production and spurs creativity. Yet, if you don’t want to push yourself to the limits of physical exhaustion, we have great news for you. Studies say that leisurely short walks are good enough for stimulating inspiration. Yet you don’t have to walk in a picturesque park—an ordinary shopping mall or a boring old treadmill will be fine. Just keep moving!
Change your routine
Now let’s be clear from the start, we do understand that “creativity” and “routine aren’t a natural pairing–so when your work demands routine it can become unsettling. When you feel that day-to-day activities encroach on your inspiration, try to change them a bit. Choose another way home, listen to new music or do something unusual (just don’t attract the sound of the police).
Additionally, changing your traditional way of searching for inspiration might work. Natasha says that when her ordinary inspiration-summoning techniques fail, she searches for alternative solutions.
“I try to look at the topic in hand from different angles. I twist it in my head until I find something ‘worthy’. For example, I might put it into an unusual environment. I try to think about what it would look like underwater, or if my characters were animals. Random thought insertions like these help me find a fresh perspective.”
Look at the work of others
There’s nothing new under the moon. And absolutely nothing is wrong in using others’ work as a source of inspiration. But let’s be clear: we are not talking about shameless plagiarism here. Sometimes other artists’ ideas combined with your own thoughts might turn into something unique and beautiful.
Natasha says that amongst all the artists out there, one in particular never fails to inspire her. “Whenever I run out of creativity, I turn to my guru of imaginativeness, Melamed. He’s an illustrator, a tutor and his Facebook page is my personal Mecca for inspiration. Seeing creative decisions made by other illustrators really recharges my artistic batteries”.
However you choose to spur your creativity, make sure you enjoy the process, and that it’s personal to you and your desires regarding the form it takes. Because, as Osho said, “a creative person possesses his own being—he is a master”.