In the art world it's hard to keep going. It's difficult to keep your enthusiasm up when you're low on ideas and you feel like your talent is hugely lacking. As I have said before on numerous occasions, one of the best ways out of a rut is to find something that inspires you. However in saying that, I think I may have oversimplified the solution.
You see you never quite know where inspiration is going to come from, so setting off to find some might not always prove fruitful. I think the last time I talked about this, I mentioned that I keep a folder of pictures on my computer that inspire me. They are mostly character designs or production drawings from animated films, all things that other people have done that have stood out from the rest of the images I have encountered on my journeys around the web. The hope is that I can turn to these images in times of low self-esteem, gaining some inspiration to boost me and keep me drawing.
However it doesn't always work. In fact thinking about it, it rarely works. Sometimes I'll look at these drawings and paintings and feel nothing but envy of the people who made them. I'll get annoyed that I can't draw like they can and my visit to the "inspiration folder" will have given the opposite effect to that which I needed. So the more I think about it, the more I start to wonder if such a collection is not a good idea. Perhaps it is from the point of view of looking at how other people draw things and learning technique from, but for inspiration? I'm not sure.
I've spent the last few days feeling pretty crappy about my drawing ability. I'm in the process of doing character designs for my super secret project, but every design turns out hideously. In a slump, I looked through the day's blog updates on my Google Reader account and suddenly felt much better. The reason? I saw two drawings that got me thinking along different lines from how I had been thinking before. I went to have my lunch, taking a little break from thinking about art at all and then did a quick 20 second doodle on my return. All of a sudden I had a drawing that I liked! One that's completely different to my other designs.
So inspiration had come when I didn't expect it and when I wasn't looking for it. In hindsight, I think this is how it always happens for me. A search for inspiration never proves fruitful. Only by letting go and being open to new things does the desire to create reveal itself.
To sum up, don't look for inspiration. You won't find it. Instead let it find you. That means being open to it - open up your senses, your eyes, your ears, everything. Open the doors and inspiration will come :)