When my ideas feel blocked or stale, or I can’t seem to make myself put brush to cloth, it’s time to take a step back and immerse myself in things I find inspiring. In my case, this takes a few different forms.

  1. Museums: #1 for inspiration hunting. Seeing the way other artists work with shape, color, and subject, can jump start or enliven some of my own nascent ideas.

  2. Art Books: When I can’t commit half a day to a museum trip, art books are the next best thing. They’re also great for artwork that isn’t well represented in local museums (Japanese calligraphy, for one).

  3. Parks and Gardens: Because of my love for patterns based on the natural world, a walk through the park or trip to the Botanic Garden can be just the ticket. I especially enjoy the park when there’s a farmer’s market, as I get the added benefit of all the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other items for sale.

Regardless of how I spend this time, I always bring a sketchbook and finish with a dozen idea for new designs. What do you do for inspiration?