What to Do If Inspiration Is Lacking

What to Do If Inspiration Is Lacking

Ever find yourself needing the inspiration to create an image, but you just can muster up any from anywhere?

It happens to all of us, don’t worry. Recently I had to create an image for a client. I searched and searched for inspiration, but it didn’t seem to come. This can happen because of many factors; tiredness, working too much, feeling down. Any of these plus much more. Sometimes the muse does not want to appear. It happens to us all at some point. As the deadline drew closer, I knew I had to just create something, something to get the creativity going so I used one of my inspiration kickstart techniques and eventually managed to get the creative juices flowing. What is an inspiration kick starter technique? It is one of my go-to tricks if no image concepts are popping into my head.


This the technique that I used to create the above image. What I do is take some time to either go somewhere quiet (you don’t want to be having conversations) for a walk or put my headphones on in bed and listen to my music on Spotify playlists. The trick to this is just freeing up your thoughts and letting your imagination take you away with the music. Sounds like a steaming load of crap, I know. But if you are creative like me, which I guess you are, your mind should start to visualize images.

Music is a good trigger for emotion, and emotion stirs the mind. Recently I have been listening to a lot of Synthwave. It is music that is 80s inspired. The album artwork is always very cool; the colors are usually 80s neon. As I was listening to the music I thought it would be great if I could create some artwork for these musicians. I gradually built up some images in this style, and have now worked with 2 American Synthwave artists so far. So lay down, close your eyes and put on your favorite music playlist and just imagine!


Again this seems pretty obvious, but just as music stimulates the brain and emotions, so do visuals. One of the best ways to do this quickly is to go on YouTube and watch movie trailers. A trailer is usually short and packs all the best visuals into three minutes. They also have epic music overlaid, so you are getting the full whack. Just browse trailers from past, present, and future for 15 minutes, and I guarantee you will be loaded with inspiration! Another trick while watching a movie is to do screen grabs every time you see an inspiring composition of a scene and save them to a folder to look back through when you are looking for ideas.


Pinterest is one of my go-to websites to get inspired. If you have used it before as soon as you log in you will be hit with a selection of images chosen for your likes and interests. Seriously as soon as I log in, BAM! I’m hit with a mood board of images all catered to my interests. If you don’t see anything inspiring on the welcome page just type something you are interested in into the bar at the top, and it will pull up many images related to that term/word.

And that is my top 3 inspiration kick starter technique. Obvious, maybe. But I’m pretty sure there will be many people who don’t utilize these tricks enough to pull inspiration wherever they need it. Sometimes you just need the little nudge to open the brainwaves and suddenly you are full of ideas, energy, and inspiration.

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liliumva's picture

Mmm I love Gunship! I've gotten a lot of inspo from them. Same with The Midnight, Scandroid and Carpenter Brut( Look up Blood Machines !!!). Music is my go to for inspo.

The site Le Book is also a great source for inspo, same with Behance.

Clinton Lofthouse's picture

Yeah, I love all those artists too. Oh cool, ill check le book out.

Deleted Account's picture

Music's a go to for me as a writer. Cool to know it works for the visual arts, too.

Robert Montgomery's picture

Try something new. Outside of your comfort zone . Get involved with a photo challenge .

Alex Yakimov's picture

Wes Anderson and Paolo Sorrentino do it for me.

Daniel Lee's picture

I definitely agree about Pinterest too, it can be a great place to find creative ideas for all kinds of photos.

Angel Sanchez's picture

The the longest of time music has been of inspiration but on the modern age of computers I go to some picture sharing site like this one to see someones else work and get inspired. I will try to give Pinterest a look. I am always finding ways to get inspired on my work.

Jordan McChesney's picture

For me, when I’m just not feeling it, I force myself to go out. I know what if I see even one thing worth photographing, the inspiration will come flowing back. One decent shot can turn my whole day around.