I think it has happened to us all. We hit a brick wall with our designs. We keep doing the same thing over and over and can’t seem to come up with something new. What is your go-to design? What is it going to take to get you to grow beyond it?
To break out of our comfort zone is a hard, but necessary thing for growth as an artist. So how do we find inspiration for new designs? Everyone has their own way of doing this, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Take advantage of all the amazing resources created for you by your fellow henna artists! The best way to gain new inspiration and also support the artist who is providing that inspiration by buying ebooks of henna designs created by henna artists for henna artists. In fact, henna design ebooks are Artistic Adornment’s specialty!
2. Look at the work other artists post to their websites. Whose work has really caught your eye lately? Have you visited their website yet? Have you visited it lately? Visiting an artist’s website is the next best thing you can do to support the artists who inspire you, after actually paying them for their ebook.
4. Flickr – Until very recently, Flickr was one of the main ways that henna artists would share their photos. Many artists still use it to post new work, and there is a very rich history of postings of past work. Flickr is better than Facebook for sharing images outside of the website itself, and Flickr is better than Pinterest for maintaining artist attribution and letting the artist specifically define what rights they are granting for the use of their images.
3. Pinterest – This is many user’s new favorite site for users collecting (or “pinning”) images of things that they like. This can range from endless kitty pictures to fine art. Go to Pinterest and do a search on henna or mehndi. You’ll be flooded with amazing (and some not so amazing) images to browse through. Sometimes just seeing how another artist puts a design together can really get you going. Be sure to check the attribution on photos that you’re finding on Pinterest – unfortunately, photo sharing in this decontextualized manner can lead to attribution getting lost. Be sure to determine who did the original artwork whenever possible, and please only re-pin work that is properly pinned directly from an artist’s own website. Pinterest is fabulous for finding inspiration….but quite a bit worse for keeping artists’ work recognized. (And of course, this is also serves as a reminder – artists, watermark your photos! so when they end up on Pinterest etc, people can easily find you as the source…)
4. Branch out to things beyond henna. Browse through the art section of your local library or bookstore. Look at paintings, drawings, textiles and more to find inspiration. Really, inspiration is all around you! What do you love other than henna? Have you done any designs that are related to that lately?
5. Take a walk! Go out into nature and absorb the beauty. Look at the birds as they fly over, see the way the flowers blow in the breeze and study the lines of the buildings. Inspiration is everywhere!
6. Push yourself to try a style you are not comfortable with. You may be a master of one style of henna, but how are you with others? Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone by challenging yourself to try something new and different.
No matter how you find your inspiration, continue to push yourself to grow as an artist!
Where do you find inspiration for your work? Let us know!