12 tips to find Artistic Inspiration

All artists suffer from artists block at some point in their career. It is difficult to remain inspired at all times. As an artist, I suffer form lack of inspiration more often than I care to admit. So, how do we get out of that rut? How do we stay inspired?

We all have our own ways to deal with this. I follow some simple steps to keep myself inspired. Most of these steps may help you too.

1. Get out of your comfort zone

I used to paint abstracts all the time. For almost 3-4 years since I started painting, I only painted abstracts. I’ve had friends ask me if I could paint a landscape or a portrait and I just said, “Meh, not my style”. I’ve even turned down commissions. Finally, one day where I wasn’t feeling inspired, I decided to make a portrait. It took me a lot of time. I struggled with it for a week, but at the end of a week, I had finished it. It was beautiful. And you know what, I had not wasted one week waiting for inspiration and I had learnt something new.

So, try something new. Make a portrait of your favorite personality or make a landscape OR better yet, try some acrylic pour.

Acrylic Pour

2. Follow artists on Instagram

This is one of my latest discoveries. Instagram is an amazing place for artists to showcase their work. You get to see short videos of artists making art. Your eye may catch something new; a new form, a new technique, a new kind of painting. It is a big ocean of inspiration. But I do have to say this. Find inspiration but don’t steal. Don’t just copy another artists painting.

3. Visit art galleries

This is almost the same as following artists on Instagram, the only difference is, you get to see the art -up close. You may even get to meet some artists. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Meet new people/artists

Find out what places artists visit the most. You will get to meet them at art galleries, at cafes close to art galleries, at art events, at art supply stores, etc. Interacting with other creative people will help you find inspiration.

5. Visit the art supply store

Now here, I mean, visit a big art supply store. Mainly because, big art supply stores find ways to introduce new products. Talk to the employers there and ask questions about products if you have any. Often, they will know more than artists. I visited an art supply store which displayed a few paintings at the billing counter which showed the use of products like gel mediums, crackle paint, etc. I was intrigued. This is how you get inspired to maybe try an new product and a new kind of painting.

6. Your camera is your best friend

This is one way I make sure I don’t waste time waiting for inspiration. I always carry my camera when I go out OR have my cell phone on me. Whenever i find something inspiring, I take a picture. I then save them in a folder on my laptop called ‘Reference Photos’ and keep them organised. So whenever I’m lacking inspiration, I go through one of those photos and start painting.

7. Participate in art competitions

Whenever you visit an art supply store or an art gallery, look at the notice boards. You will always find something regarding an art challenge or a competition. Just take part in it. Whether you win the competition or no, it is an opportunity to make a new painting. Competitions come with inspiring themes. You may learn something along the way. You may even win. You never know.

8. Don’t keep your art supplies safely stashed away. Make sure they are easily accessible. That way you will paint when you are inspired and wont waste time with prep.

9. Keep a pocket note book.

Ideas come and go in a flash. You may want to note them down when it is fresh in your head. I always keep a little book and pen in my night drawer because I often find that inspiration strikes when I’m laying in bed trying to go to sleep.

Alternatively you can use an app on your phone to take notes but I dont recommend sleeping with your phone next to you.

The following points are the few things that inspire me. It may or may not apply to you.

10. Watch TV channels that may inspire you

I enjoy painting wildlife. I watch wildlife channels and come across so much inspiration. You will see that in my paintings. Find something that inspires you and think how you can incorporate that into your painting.

11. Watch mythological movies/fantasy fiction

I have always been fascinated by fantasy art. I watch mythological movies that inspire me. I find something new and just paint/ draw something I see. It is fascinating. It is all about imagination. After all, the majority of things you see on screen in such movies are ‘Artist Inspirations’

12. Read an inspiring book

This is to keep you motivated. Often we hit a low and feel like ‘Ugh, it is so hard being an artist’. Read something that inspires you to keep you going. Read entrepreneurial books. Cut out inspirational quotes and put them up on your mood board or around your work space.

If you have any questions/suggestions, leave them in the comments below. If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.

Comparing and Reviewing Acrylic Paints to use in Fluid Paintings

I just had to post a video today. I had no idea how to put this one in writing and hence I am posting the link to my YouTube video right here.

Fluid painting- This is one of my favorite ways to use acrylic paints. This is just to see which acrylic paints dry and still retain color despite being diluted with water to create a fluid-like consistency. Golden fluid acrylics may be the best but I haven’t tried them because it is quite expensive in India and not easily available.

Do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestions. Have a great day.

 

12 Art hacks/tricks/tips every artist should know

When it comes to art, we have to follow a few tricks to help make life easier for us. It may save you time OR it may save you some money. So here are 12 tips for artists I hope will be helpful.

1. Saving the tops/caps of your oil paint tubes

This is one thing I follow religiously. I started off my painting journey with Camel Oil Paints. But I had a big problem. The caps of these paint tubes kept getting spoiled and by that I mean, I often found oil leaking out of the sides of the caps, resulting in the caps getting cut at the edges. So every time one of my small paint tubes got over, I saved the caps and threw away the tubes. So next time I came across a damaged cap, I just replaced it with an old one.

* I think the damage was due to the weather.

2. Always buy small tubes of oil paint

The big tubes are a little too much. Also buy high quality oil paints like Winsor & Newton for example.

3. Use two containers of solvent/water to wash your paintbrushes

Using two separate containers to wash your paintbrushes helps reduce the number of times you change the water/solvent. You can wash your brush in one and after all the paint from the brush gets washed, you can dip it in the next container to get rid of any residual paint.

4. Buy a good spray bottle especially if you work with acrylic mediums

A spray bottle may be the best investment when you are working with acrylic paint. I started with oil paint and later tried acrylics and the paint dried so quickly that I almost gave up. A spray bottle helped me a lot. Make sure you buy a bottle that sprays very light mist and doesn’t cause too much splatter.

5. Paper towels make your life so much easier

Using rags to wipe off paint from your brushes gets very messy. Paper towels are such any easy thing to use. Wiping your paintbrushes on paper towels before dipping them in solvent/water, helps frequent change of solvent/water and prevents wastage too.

6.  If you are painting fluid paintings it helps to have a carpenter app

Fluid painting involves dealing with flow of paints and if your table/surface which your canvas is placed on, isn’t even/balanced, your paint will flow in a different direction and you wont be able to control the flow of paints which is difficult enough anyway. You get various apps to check the floor leveling. Do check that before you start painting.

7. Wear masks and glasses

This one is self explanatory. Protect your eyes, protect your sinus especially if you are working with toxic materials and airbrushing.

8. Use foil/plastic wrap

This tip will help you save a lot of time. If you do not have the time to keep washing your paint palette, just use foil or plastic wrap over it and you will see how productive it is.

9. Use tack-it as kneadable eraser to lift paint off especially when you are working with pastels, color pencils, graphite and charcoal.

10. Use cotton buds for blending

I remember I used to blend graphite with my finger for shading. And it is very messy. We generally use paper stumps for blending while working with pencils. If you don’t own blending stumps, use cotton buds for smooth blending.

11. Pencil tracing

If you want to reduce the amount of erasing you do on your expensive paper, do your drawing/sketch on any lightweight paper. You can do all the erasing you want there. Once you are done with your sketch, fill the back of the paper with graphite and then place it onto the final piece and trace.

You will end up with graphite lines which can easily be erased.

12. Use a color picker

When you look at a reference photo, your eye perceives a different color, depending on what other colors are around in the image. For example, look at the video below.

The woman has a wheatish complexion, that doesn’t mean you use beige everywhere. Check out the shadows under her nose and in her ear, it is a very dark brown. When you actually use a color picker, you will notice that you need to use a lot of dark browns in her face.

Well, there are a lot more tips and tricks I got for artists. Don’t want to overload you with too much information.

If you want to read more of my blog posts, you can subscribe by just submitting your E-mail id at the top of the sidebar on my website. If you are reading this on a mobile phone, you can scroll down and find the subscribe button there. You’ll get an update every time I publish a post. No spam. I assure you.


 

I also have a YouTube channel with art tutorials, hacks, time-lapse videos  and much more. Do check it out here. Have a nice day.