When are you most inspired and creative?

  • I have noticed about myself that I generally don't create and draw on my own. I usually will just draw the same stuff over and over almost like a doodle but not really produce anything of note. However, when given an assignment, I flourish. All of a sudden I have tons of really great ideas and a burning desire to see the project through. For example, I give assignments to my students, and I often give the assignment to myself as well. And then WHAM! I am a madman possessed with an idea until I finish it in a frenzied rush whether or not I have other duties and the lack of time to complete it. My last two pieces (an octopus and Gandalf) were examples of this. But give me a free Saturday and/or a vacation and I produce nothing, zero. nada. I think I actually work best under pressure and with a given assignment: Draw this by this time. I think when other people give me a little criteria, my logical problem-solving side gets in tune with my creative side and BOOM there I go. I think that is why I loved INKtober so much.

    Is this weird?

    Is anyone else like this?

    What conditions drive you to produce your best work?

    What makes you most creative?

  • @chrisaakins I am most inspired at night time which is very inconvient because I want to sleep and can’t.

    Inktober was good for getting things completed but not necessarily coming up with ideas. I like to ponder ideas and dream them up (literally sometimes because I dream every night).

    But I do get loads of ideas from stressful circumstances. And sometimes solutions to them.


  • Moderator

    I don’t think it’s weird. I’m a little like that. If I’m accountable or have a deadline I excel, well, at least I work better😜. If it’s just me coming up with something I have to push myself to not procrastinate. 🙂

  • Totally not weird!! I find I usually do better under time crunch. (Doesn't give me much time to put things above my art, and I know that I have "X" amount of time to finish the project in.)

    If you find that you work better with some kind of prompt and deadline you could check out artprompts.org. If you are feeling in a rut of drawing the same old stuff and need a little nudge to try something new it's a great resource. It has different categories to pick from: character, creature, environment, object, situation...
    You could set a time frame for yourself by making an announcement on social media, or letting your family or students know that you want to show them what you have worked on (for the accountability part, and then set up your time frame, monthly, weekly, etc...)

    Also, @smceccarelli had a great idea to use story dice (story cubes) to get some ideas flowing.

    I also find I'm more creative when I'm around creative people. (Yay for the SVS Forum) I love seeing others styles, and views of the world, art, music, food, writing. I also really take inspiration from learning weird facts. Last night I found the engineerguy on youtube, who has so many fascinating videos on how things are made. I'm not exactly sure how that helps my art, but I think it has something to do with the idea of innovation, and that someone tried something new, and it was successful.

  • Pro

    I'm most inspired when I draw my own stuff, but mostly as part of a project. Lately I've been into business, so when I think of making a "collection" to sell I get so creative and I wish I could drop all my clients to work on the collection haha... If I just draw a personal piece for fun, I don't have nearly the same inspiration or drive. I like to draw for an end game.

  • SVS OG

    Yes, having a set of criteria for an image always helps me. I try to give myself assignments now to get that motivation. Also I'm a night drawer as well. Weird but I can't seem to get anything done until 7PM then I'll work into the early morning.

  • SVS OG

    I have to have deadlines even if they are self imposed and they can’t be too far off. If I have to have something done in three weeks, it will take me three weeks to do it, but if I only have a week, I can get it done in one week and it is just as good. I need the deadline to put my brain into high gear and stop me from daydreaming/ruminating/avoiding and basically wasting time pretending to be working on something.

    I think giving your class assignments is a great strategy and I’m sure they love seeing you work along with them.

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    Seems like everyone is in the same boat, a prompt and deadline seem to get us all moving along. I personally get the most creative when i am able to relax in the evening. I can clear my mind from the crazy day. Watching something on TV or listening to my kids talk about stuff always sparks ideas for me.

  • @chrisaakins Haha I recognize myself in your story! Only not having any assignments now but just like you, I was all fired up during inktober. Did you also feel like you fell into a deep well when october was over?

    On the first of november, I was like hmmm... and now what? tumtidum....

    But I'm most creative at night and when I should be sleeping. Then when morning comes, the whole morning and day hustle of work or kids and home gets in the way and then at night when that's all tucked into bed, my mind goes into my own little peaceful world, where it actually can get moments of exploring for more than two minutes before being interrupted.

    Seeing peoples work on instagram is also inspiring although sometimes it's overwhelming because then I want to taste all the cookies in the bakery, making me overload and then crash. So I have decided to limit my "screen" time and when I'm in a bit of a creative-low, go explore other peoples work and get inspired again.

  • This is such an interesting topic because every year I have this period (mostly from June till August) where my art side seems to go dormant. It's the time when I have no inspiration nor the intention to even create anything.

    Then September arrives and the Inktober prompt list goes public. That is the moment the ball starts rolling for me. I can't explain it. It is literally the changing of the seasons, the smell of fall just around the corner, the pumpkins, the colors of the leaves turning red. I just want to pick up my pencil and draw. Once October starts I ink the hell out of everything while watching my favorite horror movies.

    This is the first time that I've been able to keep the momentum going. After Inktober I knew I liked to work with prompts so I started following this instagram profile. I know I can't draw a picture every day, but at least some prompts spark my imagination. I also kept using my Inktober characters, I didn't care they were 'Halloween' themed. I like them, so I am going to draw them for as long as I want.

    I also knew I needed a movie in the background, so that is what I try to do when I come home. Put on a movie and work on my art. Which is ink based, because I want to get better using a brush pen and then color it digitally.

    I also don't force myself to draw, like right now. I'm posting a reply and reading the forum instead of drawing and that okay too.

    So for short, my recipe for inspiration and creativity is:
    A movie + prompts + my favorite beverage/snack

  • Hello all! Hm, I feel myself somewhere in the middle between freedom and pressure. I kind of need a frame for getting creative, a story or a situation or sth. but if the pressure gets to much, I am freaking out. Assignments definitley help and out of one assignment many ideas are born usually. Very nice to read all your comments. 🙂

  • I definitely fall into the boat of needing something to fuel my inspiration. I find it difficult to sit down and just... draw. I need a plan, an assignment, even if it's self-assigned, to get started. It's why I keep lists upon lists of art prompts on Google Drive. Just in case. 😉

  • This is really good discussion to have. Honestly I feel most creative when there isn't so much stress in my life, when I'm feeling in good health and I'm making more art. I've learned in the last two years that mental and physical health are key to having a good creative life and to keep you moving. When you get 'stuck' with health or mental health problems it can be difficult foe me personally to get moving again.

    I find that returning to my most loved movies, comic books or art can help. But definitely in the last while its been keeping myself in a good space.

  • I'm at my best in the middle of the night. Just jumping out of bed and start writing. (Yeah, I'm not drawing, I'm a writer. It's not a big difference. You guys are creating with images, I'm creating with words). To be totally I'm working at one of these services that helps kids with homework and other kinds of assignments. But my passion project is writing novels.

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