I know you’ve hear that phrase before, it’s pretty common, and it makes sense. A lot of us feel inspired when we see a wonderful statue or painting, or even architecture, or scenery in nature. (Some will argue that’s not art, but I won’t waste my time arguing with them about it.)
But I have tended to go the other way for the last few years. I have inspired myself with my own art.
Before you call me presumptuous and bash on my artistic abilities, realize I have never considered myself very good at art. I just have always liked doing it. It uses a different part of my brain that doesn’t seem to get any exercise anywhere else, and it relaxes me. Frees me, if you will.
And that allows me to be inspired.
I can make a scribble and then try to turn it into a drawing. Or take a photo and imagine what’s hidden in it.
Imagine my surprise when I found out playing with computer art programs worked just as well for me, and then actually put out something not too bad to look at! Now I don’t feel like I have to hide my art anymore! Sometimes it’s good enough I actually WANT to share it!
That was a weird feeling!
So for example, here is something I did on the computer while letting my mind wander around in circles thinking about a purple unicorn story.
It’s not the greatest thing in the world, but I like it. And it has helped me maintain an excitement for the story I am working on, while giving me a break from what I was doing. Which is kind of like cheating-except that I’m not cheating!
I’m getting work done (working out story details in my head) while being productive (kind of… This image won’t actually go anywhere, but I have done some of my own covers and some art for other people, so who knows where it could eventually lead?) and I’m relaxing at the same time! (Because art uses that different part of my brain! It de-stresses me.)
What could be better than that?