5 Ways To Fuel Creative Inspiration

Creative Hike

As an artist, it’s important to discover and keep up with the work of other artists in your field. This helps you shake things up by exploring concepts, styles and creations that are different from the ones that have been on replay in your brain. It’s also good to know what the competition is up to.

When the world slows down in the summer, it’s the perfect time take advantage of artist showcases, outdoor festivals, exhibitions and conferences that can be a breath of fresh air for your creative powers.

Especially if you tend to work alone and spend countless hours creating without social interaction (online doesn’t count!), a populated event–like a summer music festival or an outdoor film screening at the art museum—will inject with you that dose of human contact and crowd energy that you’ve been missing but maybe didn’t realize.

On the other hand, a smaller, more intimate event can offer a more focused inspiration and allow you to make a direct connection with the artist. If you attend a concert at the local bookstore, you can walk right up and chat with the musicians.

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Just as a good writer must be a good reader, being a successful and productive creative professional in any field means you must study, absorb and be aware of the work of other creatives like yourself, whether they are famous or not, professional or amateur.

Here are some ideas to plan a summer outing that will feed your artist soul:

Seek out community creativity

For inspiring community events, you might find listings online, but you can also go old school and check your local newspaper or the bulletin board in a cafe or library. Although some local venues (museums, theaters, concert venues, etc) may put their regular program on hiatus for the summer, they might instead offer special events or exhibitions. Subscribe to email newsletters from local venues to find upcoming events or use a free event-finding app like Eventsions or Time to Enjoy.

Take a field trip

In school, field trips showed you the reality of what you had been studying in your textbook and were important to make a subject come to life. It’s never too late to take another field trip to track down an artist who truly inspires you. If it’s not too far, plan a visit to a museum dedicated to their life or travel to a place where they once lived or that inspired them. The online magazine Literary Traveler is an excellent source of ideas and itineraries for those seeking to follow in the footsteps of famous writers and musicians.

Join an activity group

No need to keep begging your reluctant friends to attend that didgeridoo concert with you. Connect with like-minded people on Facebook groups based in your hometown or on websites like MeetUp and CouchSurfing, where you can find people organizing all sorts of outings and events.

Stalk your favorite musicians

Summertime is tour time, and websites like Songkick and Bandsintown allow you to keep track of your favorite musicians and follow their tour dates so you can catch them at home or somewhere nearby.

Don’t underestimate the power of play

Sometimes hanging out with kids is enough to draw out your inner child and inspire you in ways you’d never imagine. You’re bound to learn a thing or two, pick up some ideas to add to your repertoire and have lots of fun along the way. Whether you have kids of your own or are babysitting for a friend or relative, summer is a great time to get crafty and creative outdoors.

Summer can be a blur of lazy days and beach vacations—but it’s also a great opportunity to soak in new ideas that will keep you inspired and productive throughout the rest of the year.

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Suchi Rudra

Suchi Rudra is a nomadic writer of articles, stories and songs, taking inspiration from her travels. Follow her wanderings at Tread Lightly, Travel Naturally.