Life imitates art, and art imitates life. Writers search high and low for inspiration, but inspiration is everywhere around us! We can “imitate” art by using it as a starting point and catalyst to more vibrant and creative writing. Not just limited to fiction, art can inspire us to write colorful blog posts, articles, and other nonfiction works.
I love colorful pictures, paintings, and crafts that were created by inspired minds of today and yesterday. I am not overly picky about what can inspire me, as long as it is aesthetically pleasing and accesses the visual thinking area of my mind.Â I can weave a story around captivating elements within a picture.
Artistic Imagery for the Writer
Here’s a fun little exercise that I like to use when my creative well is running dry. You don’t even have to take a trip to a museum to find breathtaking works of art, although you certainly could!
- Type in a random word into your favorite search engine or photo site, coupled with the word “art”. I love flowers, so I might try “flower art”, whereas if you are focusing on writing an interview, you might look for “female art”.
- Click on the image results of your search query. The internet is full of images in every style, medium, and expression. Choose three of the images that jump out at you immediately. Don’t worry too much if they don’t appear to be your favorites, or if they don’t match the mood of your writing project. As long as they elicit an emotional response from you, they are likely to be useful!
- Take the three images and try to create a mini-story in your mind. For example, you might have one picture of a young woman, another of a castle, and another of a field of flowers. The basic story behind these three images is: “There is a woman in a castle surrounded by flowers.”
- Now, ask yourself all sorts of questions. “Why is the woman there? Does she live there? Has the castle been abandoned, with the flowers growing everywhere? Is she alone? Where will she go? What will she find in the castle? Does she like the flowers?” These kinds of questions will get your creative juices flowing, and you may find a plot line for a short story or novel hidden within these pictures!
- Tie these images back into your non-fiction writing project. The young woman can stand for yourself, or the subject you’re writing about. You may need to write from a new point of view, or find the human angle to your otherwise dull topic. The castle may stand for a real life physical location. Where is your topic making the most impact? Where is the headquarters located? For more abstract art, such as flowers, you may be able to compare your subject to the flowers, and list all the reasons why it is so.
Inspiration Out in the Open
Art is everywhere! And not just limited to images, photos, or paintings. Sculpture and crafts are 3D visions of the mind’s eye brought to life. Nature is living, breathing art! Others find beauty and creativity in architecture, fashion, film, and interior decorating.
Keep your eyes and mind open, and you will begin to see the beauty and the stories all around you.
What inspires you the most? How do you bring those images out of real life and down into words? Are more literal descriptive passages your style, or do you use art as a jumping point into deeper discussion and meaning?
Photo Credit: Dalbera