One of the most difficult parts of starting any creative journey is finding what motivates and inspires you. As someone who is attending college for art and seeking a career in the creative field, I often find that a lot of my work is lacking this driving force. Perhaps I fear failure or the idea of not always appealing to everyone, but sometimes I just feel stuck. Creative blocks are never fun, especially if you might be in a time crunch for a specific project. So how might you find what inspires your creativity? I am a firm believer that art influences everything. Whether that be the music you listen to, the way you decorate your room or the way you dress, art is always present and willing to lend a hand in activating your creativity.
My first step is typically to find what interests me at a given moment. This may be as simple as the changing colors of the trees that I pass on my way to class in the mornings, or the conversations I have with perfect strangers. There is beauty and art in even the simplest things in our day-to-day lives, even if it is sometimes difficult to see. Never be afraid to look into other creative outlets as well. Turn on your favorite movie, pick up your favorite book, listen to a podcast, visit an art gallery and find what appeals to you. Take that moment of joy or bliss and make it your own by infusing it into your own work.
Finding inspiration, however, doesn’t always have to come from a place of happiness. What inspires you can come from sadness and pain, deep emotion and even anger. Inspiration is what makes you feel something, but what it is you feel is completely left to you and your interpretation of it, even if it isn’t always pretty and perfect. This could come from a place of personal struggle, or even an interest in certain political or humanitarian issues. One of the major key aspects is to stay true to yourself and these emotions. It can be easy to let outside influences affect you and whatever it is you might be creating, but remember that your work is first for you and no one else.
Lastly, it is my personal opinion that the most important factor in this process is allowing yourself breaks and moments of self-reflection. At times, things can seem quite overwhelming, especially in the chaos of college, so it is crucial to allow your mind and body to slow down and become aligned again. Sometimes it is in these moments of stillness that we find ourselves most inspired. After all, creative inspiration is all around us; we just have to be willing to let it in.