Although this is a short article about how to feel more inspired when making art, making comics, writing stories etc… I’m going to have to start by talking about music for a couple of paragraphs. There’s a good reason for this that I hope will become obvious later.
A few months ago, I ended up looking at a really cool music channel on Youtube that I’d almost forgotten about. This channel is run by an expert guitarist who often plays heavy metal-style covers of all sorts of things. Anyway, one video caught my attention. It was, quite simply, titled “Blade Runner Meets Metal“.
Since I’ve been a fan of heavy metal since I was about thirteen or so, and since I’ve been a massive fan of “Blade Runner” since I was seventeen – I was absolutely fascinated by this video.
Although only some parts of the cover sound like the end credits music from “Blade Runner”, it was still astonishingly cool to see two of my favourite things being mixed together.
One of the easiest ways to get inspired is to just think of two (or more) of your favourite things and to work out an inventive way to combine them.
However, if you want to make something genuinely creative (eg: something you could theoretically publish commerically), then it’s usually a good idea to start by thinking of your favourite things in a very non-specific way.
In other words, if you’re a fan of – say – “Star Trek” and “Game Of Thrones”, you could make a non-commerical fan art picture combining characters from both of these things. But, since G.R.R. Martin hates fan fiction, how can you legitimately write something that was inspired by both of these things?
Simple. You just need to take a step back and think of your idea as being “military sci-fi meets medieval fantasy”, rather than “Star Trek meets Game Of Thrones”.
Once you’ve boiled your mixture of cool things down to the very basics, then try thinking of original characters, settings, storylines etc… that also fit into this concept.
Yes, your finished comic or story will probably still be vaguely reminiscent of both of your favourite things, but it’ll also probably stand on it’s own feet as an original work too. Not only that, because you’ve combined two radically different things, your story will probably be a lot more creative than you might expect.
To give you an example from my own artistic work – I love the zombie genre and I love 1980s/90s-style noir sci-fi, so I ended up making a series of retro sci-fi noir zombie drawings earlier this year. Here are a couple of them:
These drawings then ended up inspiring a comic a couple of weeks later:
And this was all because I thought that it would be a cool idea to combine two of my favourite things. So, yes, this can be a powerful way to get inspired again.
Sorry for the short article, but I hope that it was useful 🙂