Art is born out of inspiration; the feeling of being compelled to create is an undeniable force of nature. We call those who channel this inspiration and act upon it, artists. Inspiration can be found in a myriad of places; physical places, and places in the heart. Artists draw inspiration from a butterfly, or from the way they feel when they admire the splendor of its wings. Inspiration is everywhere, and all natural artists, are open to its call.

Here are just a few of the magical ways that artists become inspired to create:


The beauty of nature is a huge source of inspiration for many artists. Nature is magic that can be experienced no matter where you live. There is evidence of nature even in the city; everywhere you look you’ll see people strolling with children, or playing ball in the park. These simple activities spark something within the artist. The eye of an artist can see the beauty in many things that others may overlook. A crack in the sidewalk, where a flower tries to push its way through, is beautiful and magnificent to the artistic eye.


Some of the most compelling art, has been inspired by the thoughts of the artist. We all have strong feelings surrounding certain aspects of life, and those thoughts and feelings are often transformed into paintings, sculptures, or captured in photographs. Many famous artists, who were tortured by their thoughts and dreams, released those feelings through their work.


Music has always been, and will always be, a great space in which to draw inspiration. Lyrics, melodies, and just the feeling behind a piece of music, can compel an artist to transform that feeling into a physical manifestation. Many artists love to work to the sound of music playing; sometimes softly in the background, and sometimes blaring loudly. Music can be a subtle inspiration, or a major force that inspires the whole creation.


Some artists have what they call, a muse. A muse is a very specific source of inspiration, and differs from artist to artist. A muse is often a person the artist loves or admires. A child, a teacher, another artist, or a pet, can be a muse of inspiration. Some artists are inspired by a muse they have never met, but may surround themselves with photos, or aspects of the muse’ work. For example, if your muse is Edgar Allan Poe, you may keep his books near your work space, or listen to recordings of The Raven, while you create.

The painting of the pelican I did below, is a shining example of inspiration come to life. Every part of this painting is alive; from the features of this amazing creature, his open beak and piercing eyes; to the cracks in the wood of the tree stump on which he stands. An inspired painting makes you feel as if you are there, experiencing it with all of your senses. In this painting, you may sense that the pelican is speaking out about something, voicing its feelings. It may be just getting itself ready to capture its daily meal. A great painting is also textural. The pelican in this painting appears as if you can reach out and feel the layers of its feathers. Inspired art, affects the whole person, and often brings new inspiration to the observer.

Pelican Watercolor Painting

What inspires you? Please leave a comment below and share with me and my other readers what is your greatest artistic inspiration. Do you have a muse?