Sparking Creativity

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By Bryan Brinkman

When creating any piece of art, I feel like I’m sitting down to solve a new puzzle with pieces that I’m pulling from many different boxes. I take a couple of these ideas and figure out how to piece them together in a cohesive and pleasing way to create something new. Most of the time, I complete the puzzle, however, sometimes I come back to it months or years later when the perfect piece comes along, or maybe I never find that missing piece. Being creative can be a struggle at times, but I’ve found that some of these boxes are like planters that continuously grow new ideas to inspire me.

You see, I find that ideas are very similar to plants. They always start with a little seed, maybe it’s a snippet from an article I read or a new technique I saw on Youtube. I then file these seeds away in those planter boxes where they are fed by consuming more content until they grow into the ideas that I eventually combine to make my art. The three main ways I generate ideas and nurture them are through learning, connection, and self-reflection.

Learning

One of the easiest ways to spark new ideas and one that I’ve been coming back to a lot lately in my work is by learning a new skill or technique.

The internet has a vast wealth of knowledge, there is always something new and exciting to learn. Spending the time to keep up with new techniques, software, and design trends is key to your growth as an artist. Through learning, you will discover new ideas and build your skills in the process. Often the journey of experimenting with new techniques creates an original piece all on its own.

Whatever you’re hoping to create, there’s a good chance the internet will have tutorial resources, message boards, and a community of creators willing to help. Sharing knowledge is a great way to propel your art forward, which leads us to connection.

Connection

As artists, we are part of a huge worldwide community, from master painters and sculptors of the past to the crypto artists of the future. Finding and experiencing different forms of art is easier than ever. You can visit real or virtual museums, galleries, and collections. I personally love to visit the art museums in New York to discover interesting works new and old. I even like to frequent Christie’s Auction House for the chance to see art that might never be available to the public again.

It is so important to share your work and connect with other artists. I’ve made an effort to share my workflows, experiments, and thinking behind my SuperRare releases on Cent.co, which has been great for connecting and learning with others in this community. We can all find inspiration in the work and experiences of others. However, we can also inspire ourselves through self-reflection.

Self-Reflection

Even if you consider yourself a new artist, you didn’t start creating yesterday. You can look at past experiences or work to build on using the latest techniques you’ve just learned, or inspiration from someone else’s piece you saw recently. You have been producing art and building a library within yourself for years. You can always go back to a past piece of work or a class you took in college. Maybe the saturated colors you used to use or that random printmaking class you took in art school will generate more ideas. All of a sudden, your new concept has been elevated by layering brighter colors that are slightly offset.

As you can see, we can find inspiration anywhere, you just need to find the time to learn, connect, and self-reflect to help grow your skills as an artist and spark your creativity. It’s a surefire trick to help you get out of a creative funk, and the upside is you become a stronger artist along the way. Let me know if this article sparked any ideas.

Author profile
Bryan Brinkman

Animator, Late Night TV Graphic Artist, Visual Effect Artist, Pop Culture Gallery Artist.

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