Using the World Around Us: 8 Sources of Inspiration

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I believe everything can be a source of inspiration for your art or craft when you observe and allow your mind to wander and creativity to flourish. The people we meet, media we consume, and experiences we have all give to new ideas.

Yes, there are times when it may feel like there’s a creative slump. Yes, there are times when you have more ideas than energy which makes it often difficult to decide on which to pursue.


Whether you’re in a creative slump, want a new perspective, or finding an outlet to build upon ideas – you’ll want these sources of inspiration for your arts and crafts:

  • Sci-Fi Movies – Sci-Fi movies are a personal favorite of mine to find inspiration because the topics are literally out of this world. A great movie like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Blade Runner can spur your thoughts because there are no rules with Sci-Fi; it’s a great genre that can definitely add something fresh to your arts & crafts.
  • Go Wild – Visit an art exhibition or buy an abstract painting. Abstract art can be incredibly simple or utterly complex; it’s what your mind makes of it. Filling your view with this form of art is bound to get you thinking about a lot of ideas. Prints are rather inexpensive – you’ll certainly find something for your specific taste.
  • Shut Down – Go camping or head off to the beach with nothing more than the basics. Cut off your connection to the outside world. Be at peace and let your mind wander. Sit or lay down, relax, and see where your thoughts go. Jot down ideas as they pass.
  • People Watch/Listen – Snoop on people in a public environment. Watch their mannerisms, makeup stories, and eavesdrop on their conversations (to a limit, of course). See the world around you as a living painting. Run with ideas of personal stories you make for the public. Turn the ideas from seeing and hearing others into arts or crafts that touch on the conversations and physical interactions you discover.
  • Play with Colors – Observe the beauty that comes from nature and how we humans interact and blend into the world. A color palette, such as, can come from anything really. Flowers are a great start for color inspiration. Work around how the colors compliment each other and apply that inspiration toward a new subject.
  • Keep a Journal – Your journal will often be your main source of inspiration; this is doubly so when you write very freely and without restrictions. Doodle, place stickers, cut-outs, colorize sections, let others add to the notes, and have fun. Every idea is worth recording because you never know if it causes other, new ideas to be formed. There’s never a straight path to inspiration so you may as well get it all out there and roll with the creativity.
  • Practice a New Language – A new language will open an immense amount of new ideas and culture. You’ve probably barely skimmed the surface of your native language and culture – now imagine if there’s another that you embrace! Being able to find inspiration in their music, food, culture, conversations, and history would be immense.
  • Declutter/Organize – There’s the whole idea of minimalism to remove the unnecessary distractions and blah blah blah – which I actually agree with – but I think it’s better for you to just get things out of sight, out of mind, and in their place. You can get rid of some of your stuff to spur creativity but you can also simply organize it so it’s aesthetically pleasing, which can jumpstart all kinds of creative ideas.

Everything around you can inspire your arts and crafts if you just keep an open mind and go with the flow. Let your mind wander. Look at everything and read deeper than what’s shown on the surface. Get objective and dissect what the story is – the meta – behind it all. Explore these areas of inspiration and you’ll be working on a new project in no time.


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