When we find our creative passion, it can be easy to have a one track mind. I look at children’s books constantly and love studying illustrations of past and present. While this is great, it’s also useful to keep our eyes open to the world around us. Being inspired by only one field of work can keep us boxed in.
During our recent travels abroad my husband and I visited the Vatican museum. When looking at the collection of Byzantine altar pieces, I was struck by the painting style and the beautiful gold leafing with intricate patterns behind the figures. I found myself excited to experiment with these art works in mind. They were some I might not have noticed before, but working in children’s illustration has pushed me to constantly look at what other illustrators are doing, what techniques I might not have considered. Yet tunnel vision can cause me to forget about the vast array of art ready to spark ideas within my own work.
Push yourself outside your comfort zone by exploring other genres:
Illustrators: look at abstract painting, sculpture, film, architecture, fashion.
Writers: read outside your genre; YA novels, adult fiction, non-fiction, classics, philosophy, poetry.
Inspiration leads to experimentation, pushing you outside that comfort zone and into a world of possibilities