artistic inspiration painting

How to Find Artistic Inspiration

Stuck on what to paint next? There are many sources of artistic inspiration if you look closely.

Sometimes both new and experienced painters may struggle to find artistic inspiration for a new piece. Learning many techniques and mastering several mediums is all well and good, but if you hit a creative block, little to nothing will be produced. 


There are several places where you can find inspiration if you hit a creative block.

The most common ways to gain inspiration for your next piece are:

  • Life
  • Photographs
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Your imagination 
  • Famous artwork

Remember, allowing yourself some time for experimentation is ok. Especially if this is what’s needed to push through. Be kind to yourself and just use these methods of inspiration as a guide.

  • Life:

    Simply walking through nature, a crowded street or the four walls of your home is sometimes enough to spark your imagination. Regardless of the weather or the atmosphere this would be my first point of call. Plus a walk in nature can relieve stress, allowing you to feel more relaxed whilst creating.

  • Photographs:

    Take photos or everything and anything. The more photographs you can observe the more inspiration will spark. It’s easy to grab your iPhone and take a quick snap wherever you are, so there’s no excuses!  Try taking different types of photos than you typically would. Looking at different perspectives and angles through photography will reflect in your work.

  • Instagram:

    Social media for artists can have its pros and cons. However, when used right, Instagram is one of my favourite platforms to gain inspiration for my next piece. It’s all about who you follow and what you’re searching for. Each time you click on the app you can be presented with a whole range of ideas you can make your own!

  • Pinterest:

    Due to the visual emphasis on this platform, photos, paintings and illustrations are the main focus of content. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration particularly if you’re looking for brand new ideas. The ease of ‘pinning’ a post means you can come back to this whenever you choose, whether that’s after you make a brew or next year, it doesn’t matter!

  • Your imagination:

    Believe it or not, your imagination alone has the capacity to create an entire piece from scratch. Think about your favourite memories, a particular moment in your life that holds meaning is more likely to create an authentically inspired painting than any reference photo on Pinterest could produce! 

  • ‘Famous’ artwork:

    The definition of ‘famous’ is somewhat hazy, hence the quotation marks. This can range from a popular piece in your  local gallery to the work of Van Gogh himself. You can view most popular pieces of art online, with a simple search. But, you may also choose to visit a gallery to seek a more authentic experience.


Where should I start looking for artistic inspiration?

Overall, a combination of each point of inspiration will help you create the best work possible. Creating art is not a one size fits all process. Rather, it is an individual journey with specific mediums to produce work that you are proud of.

As always, allow yourself time and remove any pressures loaded onto you to paint a ‘perfect’ piece. This artistic freedom allows you to create the best work possible.

Are you ready to paint your next piece now? Which source of inspiration do you use the most? Leave a comment below.

Francesca Pavis

Hello, I'm Francesca, an acrylic painter based in Manchester, UK and the owner of Pavis Paints. Feel free to take a look around! I also run a shop and am open to commissions if you like my style of work. Happy painting ✯

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