Art Over Science

Lesson 5: Kick-Start Your Creativity With A Road Trip

Many artists get frustrated when they fail to come up with fresh and interesting ideas for their next artwork. Similar to 'writer's block' artists can also get in a rut and run out of creative ideas.

There are many ways to kick-start your creativity again. One way is to explore your country or state by taking off on a road trip. This enlightens your mind by giving you new experiences, emotions, sights and inspirations to play with.
A road trip is described as an extended trip taken in a vehicle. It can be as simple as jumping into your car with your suitcase, throwing a mattress into the back of a station wagon, or renting an RV for a couple of weeks. Whichever method you choose, a road trip is an excellent way to experience the world around you.

Before you set off on your trip, here are three important items to take along with you:

1. Box of Art Supplies. As an artist, taking along art supplies are as important as packing clean underwear! However, you do not need to pack your whole studio. The most you need is a pencil, eraser, small sketchbook, 6-8 small tubes of watercolor paint, two or three brushes, a clean rag, a cup and a small plastic palette. By limiting your selection to just a few essential items it can be compactly stored in an old chocolate box and whipped out at a moments notice. Furthermore, by using watercolor you are not restricted by long drying times or having to pack solvents.

2. Digital Camera. Taking a digital camera with a large memory card is essential when travelling anywhere. Take photos wherever you go, taking multiple angles and viewpoints at every scene. If you are a passenger in the vehicle look for photo opportunities outside the window -- it is amazing what sights you can see from this position. Many artists have a reference album at home, so look for interesting objects, shapes, textures, shadows and colors to add to this supply. Also, include some scenic photographs which could be used for large artworks back in the studio.

3. Daily Journal. Writing about your road trip in a journal or diary serves three main purposes: it records your adventures for prosperity; it helps you to share your experiences with others, and it provides you with a written source of inspiration for your artistic life. Complete your journal each day, recording such events as distance travelled, places visited, people you met, foods you ate, your best and worse moments and what artworks you completed. Once combined, all these incidental things will create a picture of that moment in time. This will help you to remember how you felt during your trip, which can then be translated into your artwork.

By experiencing and recording the world around you, you will have a limitless supply of stimulating material. This material can be turned into exciting, fresh and original artworks by kick-starting your creativity once again.

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