Well, although I’ve talked before about how having multiple sources of inspiration will actually make your art, comics, fiction etc… more original, I thought that I’d give an example of this in action today.
But, before I start, I should probably point out that there’s a difference between taking inspiration and copying – this article will tell you more about it.
Anyway, here’s a reduced-size preview of a digitally-edited painting that will appear here in early February:
Although I messed up a few parts of this painting (like the lighting), it was one of the most inspired paintings that I’d made within a few days. It’s also a good example of how multiple inspirations can help you to make your art more original.
The initial inspiration for this painting was listening to “This Time Imperfect” by AFI. This is a gothic/emo punk song that is hidden on one of their albums and it’s the kind of epic thing that demands to be listened to multiple times. Needless to say, listening to this song put me in the mood for making gothic art.
The next inspiration was, as you may have guessed, Winston Rowntree’s “Subnormality” webcomic. After re-reading more of this comic, I wanted to make some detailed art, set in a city, that featured something slightly strange (hence the bizarre statue in the centre of the painting).
As for the background, there were at least three inspirations. The first was the music video for a song called “Black Rain” by Creeper, which features lots of old buildings and cool purple lighting.
In addition to this, I also took a little bit of inspiration from the gloomy, dark fantasy atmosphere of both a classic gothic horror computer game called “Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines” and a vampire-themed puzzle game called “Blood & Ruby“. Continuing the theme of computer games, my approach to using colour in this painting (and many of my paintings over the past year) was inspired by the use of multiple complementary colour pairs in this set of “Doom II” levels.
Yet, the final painting is diferent from each of these inspirations.
Even though many of my inspirations were in the same genre, having multiple inspirations meant that I could make something that reminded me of lots of cool stuff whilst also being different enough from each inspiration to be an original piece of art.
Multiple inspirations are important for so many reasons. But, most importantly, having several inspirations will mean that the narrative style and/or the “look” of whatever you create will be a lot more distinctive for the simple reason that it won’t be a thinly-disguised copy of any one thing. It’ll be a mixture of generic elements from different things that have been filtered through your own imagination and interpreted in your own way. This one of the main ways that you can either develop or refine your own art style and/or writing style.
The easiest way to find multiple inspirations is simply to look for them. If you like something, then look for other things that are like it. Look for the things that inspired it. Then, look for something else that you really like too. And so on… Eventually, over time, you’ll build up a “library” of inspirations.
But, remember, the more inspirations you have, the more original your creative works will be.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂