A book of ideas

Where do you find your inspiration? how do you stretch your creativity to include new patterns and shapes?

While I took a long pause from painting and drawing through the summer, seems maybe my muse melted in the heatwave,  I was all out of inspiration for weeks. Instead I turned my attention to sewing and spent my spare time adding to this ongoing project .

Then, as suddenly as the ideas had dried up, they began to repopulate my thoughts.

A couple of months ago I started a new art journal. This time, instead of my usual blurted streams of consciousness, wild splats of color and scribbled thoughts, I have something of a theme going on this time.

The background for an “inspired by” spread
The background for an “inspired by” spread

The pages are beginning like usual, with splashes and washes of color from messy brush wipes, patches of color to use up left over paint.

BUT, the next step is the new part: every page is has space for drawing something I’ve been inspired by.

So often I take photos of patterns and shapes, so often I save images from artists and designers.

All the things that light up my imagination and set off a new train of doodles.

So I’ve got an enormous catalogue of inspiration tucked away in my phone, my bookmarks & favs.

When I get a spare few minutes, or when I want to warm up my drawing brain, I go to my art journal to add drawings and doodles inspired by someone or something in my list.

I was fascinated by the shapes and lines of these rocks on the beach in Cyprus last month. Dozens of photos of these wonderful wobbly lines. This is the first of a series they inspired.

Meanwhile, other artists have been drip-feeding ideas into my mind too. I invite their influence to stretch my skills, to let their style add new aspects to the way I doodle.

Alisa Burke creates fabulous flowery mandalas and often shares her process in Instagram. It’s such a meditative process, watching the patterns unfurl onto the page.

This is the first of  my inspired by Alisa spreads.

art journal spread inspired by Alisa Burke
art journal spread inspired by Alisa Burke

Where do you find your inspiration? how do you stretch your creativity to include new patterns and shapes?

If you’d like to be first to see what I’m making & doing, hop onto my email list here: 

Author: Mixy

artist, thing maker & idea magpie. I am making it all up, one bit at a time.

5 thoughts on “A book of ideas”

  1. I love your blog post today. It really made me sit back and think a while. I would love to know what kind of supplies you are using to create your new patterns and shapes. I have had the worst luck with pens and always love hearing about what other artists are using in their work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much!

      I’ve got all sorts of pens, the ones I’m enjoying playing with right now are 0.5 fine liners from Muji (I got a bunch in different colors) + unpin fineliners. I used a pentel marker for the thick black outlines.


  2. The ‘creative break’ worked for you. These are lovely. I love the relaxed way you interpreted the ‘wavy line’ pic into your journal. I found myself wonderfully lost in the pattern. The Alisa inspired piece is also pretty – incredibly detailed and the strong lines captivating. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Creative break…me too, although I worked all through. Sometimes it’s WP I need to break from. I’m joyful you got your Mojo back. I find it always seems to happen that way, the drying up of the wellspring of ideas, the call of other adventures, and the feeling that nothing creative will ever happen to you again. And then it does, always, We need those periods of moodling like music needs silence…
    I love your new explorations and am always fascinated by your posts about your working process. This is never easy, talking about the glorious madness we call art. You tell your story well. I’m immersing myself into the wonders and mysteries of the creative process wherever I find it. I’m sharing what I find on my posts.
    PS. I am unable to ‘Like’ posts anymore, maybe not such a bad thing as I am more encouraged to Comment. Just so you know why I don’t appear there.


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