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What I Paint When Figuring Out What To Paint

What do you do when you run out of inspiration?

I get this question every so often. It’s right up there with “who is that supposed to be?

I bring my sketch pad with me pretty much wherever I go, and at times it feels like it’s just for show. When I have friends around, I don’t feel as compelled to draw as I normally would. And there are the times when I don’t know what to draw. But it’s not from lack of anything to draw. It’s more that I am just “not in the mood” to draw.

I’ve talked to a couple other illustrators and artists and they have things they do when they don’t know what to do. One woman I know draws flowers and floral patterns. Another person I know loves to draw cars. For me, it would have to be aliens. This post above started as a drawing of an alien and then proceeded from there.

So the action of drawing in this case preceded the inspiration. Sometimes it takes the act of doing it to put myself into the mood to do it. I think anyone who frequents gyms or does anything worth doing knows this feeling. I think the days where I don’t “feel” like doing something that are the most rewarding when I do it.

Bottom line is we can’t rely on ourselves to be inspired before we create. We have to start creating and then as things progress, we can become inspired by them.

That being said, when I find myself low on enthusiasm and inspiration, I will turn to other artists, and inevitably something will inspire me, or at least propel me forward.

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