For me, one of the hardest parts of creating a new painting is coming up with a subject for my composition. I call it: artist's block (like writer's block but not). So, to help you come up with some meaningful things to draw or create, here's a list of 16 things that I look to for inspiration!
1. Your Dreams
First off, I know that it's sometimes impossible to recall your dreams, but with some practice and dream journaling, you'll be able to remember most of your dreams! My dreams are parts of my subconscious that I can't access during the day. It;s where I create worlds of rolling green hills with thumbs walking around a city made of steel. Yes, thumbs. It's also where I dream of castles, or scuba diving and what the deepest parts of the ocean look like to me. That's the great thing about dreams. Everything in there is unique to you, and no one else. Maybe you feel an artist's block during the day, but when you let your mind drift off in your sleep you'll be able to think as creatively and freely as you choose. Or not choose, unless you try lucid dreaming which sounds kind of scary to me, but here's a good article explaining it if you ever want to try it out! The Benefits and Risks of Lucid Dreaming.
2. Thoughts you have in the shower.
Ok, hear me out on this one. Have you ever had that one thought in the shower where you just go: I could make millions off this idea. Well, I'm not promising millions but those ideas could definitely be developed into something great. Showering actually stimulates your brain and thus you feel more creative while your in there. For example, I was taking a bath the other night and I had the weirdest thought. What would happen if you could just suck all the water out of a lake just for one second. Would you be able to see all the fish flopping at the bottom? Maybe even a giant lake monster? It would be like lifting a blanket off a pile of unknown items. Who knows, maybe I'll make that into a painting one day.
What's the weirdest shower thought you've ever had?
3. Your Heritage and Culture
If this is something you don't know much about, I'd suggest thinking about the way you were brought up. Even if you feel you were brought up like everyone else, there's a very high chance that you haven't. I used to think that there was nothing interesting about the way that I was brought up--until I took a look at the small things. My family always valued spending time together, whether it was an annual family vacation or even things like eating dinner together every night. It wasn't until a few years ago that I even realized people around me didn't do that.
So, think about it. It could be that you woke up every morning and there was a plate of eggs and toast ready fir you, or the fact that you always had to make it by yourself. Think about how that affects you the way you are now, no matter how small or big of a difference it made.
Now I'm not talking about drawing a circle on a piece of paper, framing it, and calling it modern art. I want you to take a look around you. Maybe its your bed, maybe its the interior of a car, and maybe there's some trees. No matter what, all your surroundings are made of shapes. And there's two different ways you can draw them. If you see a tree, you can draw it super realistically with its winding branches and each leaf drawn to precision. Or you can choose to look at it through shapes. What if the base was a square, and each branch was a triangle protruding from a cylinder? What if instead of touch bark you made it look like metal and manufactured shapes?
I hope that you can find some inspiration or at least get some ideas from these 4 small but important things!