I don’t think it’s necessary to be inspired to come up with something to draw – life is full of shapes, colours, and concepts whether we’re motivated to think about them or not. Any random thought can be a seed for creativity if you’re willing to put in a little effort to plant it. One of the biggest things that helps me keep moving along is the fact that I’m not picky about how my sketches turn out. A lot of the time they’ll just end up looking mushy or vague because I didn’t have a particularly sharp idea in mind. And that’s fine, it’s still worthwhile to practice. Art doesn’t need burning inspiration behind it to be worthwhile.
I do have a few go-to things that I use for ideas if I’m stuck. Here’s a few thoughts:
- Landscape/travel photography
- Video games
- Thinkin’ about space
- Google Earth / street view of random places
- Heavy machinery and abandoned factories
- YouTube videos of people exploring parks, cities, or landmarks
- Videos of train journeys
- Looking up big lists of things like names of stars
- Whatever colour the sky is right now
- Books as you see them in your mind
- Scribbling random splotches and squinting at them
- My own old sketches from years past
If I get really stuck I sometimes look for inspiration in reverse – that is, I look at the last 3 or 4 things I’ve sketched and try to come up with something distinctly unlike those particular ones.