How to be and stay creative – Learn 50 ways

How to find great ideas? That’s an haunting question. But there’s even worse: finding no ideas at all!

You will agree with me that the digital blank page is a nightmare for many 3D artists.

Sometimes, you can be overwhelmed by great ideas and can’t find time to execute them. And other times, the opposite happens: no ideas at all to deal with.


So, how to be or to stay creative as a 3D artist?

When you suffer from no inspiration, it’s always useful to have a set of tips that will help you to be or stay creative as a 3D artist. So let’s dig in everything you can use and abuse to stay inspired on a daily basis. We had a lot of fun to imagine all possible ways to get creative anytime. Hope it helps! 🙂

Here are our 50 ways to be and stay creative for 3D artists:

1/ Go to museums

Simple as that. Look what others have done. You always have great things to learn from the masters of the past centuries

2/ Look around

Beauty and inspiration are everywhere. Pay attention to textures, light and composition around you

3/ Go shopping

You will find many people, brands, conversations. Always inspiring

4/ Limited time

Give yourself one hour from start to finish

5/ Get a notebook

Anytime, any great idea can come and disappear. Write it down as fast as you can

6/ Survey inspiration websites

CGSociety, ArtStation, Behance, Dribbble… always new kickass designs. And of course, our portraits of great 3D artists 🙂

7/ Meet artistic people

Join new meetup events and talk to them

8/ Replicate an existing artwork

Try to give your vision of one existing piece of art, like musicians would do. You have a great example with Omar Aqil

9/ Join Inktober

On October, this drawing event can help you finding new ideas

10/ Choose a random word

Take a dictionary and find a word or two and do something with them

11/ Relax

Ideas have no agenda. But your head could need some rest

12/ Do random drawings

Take a pen and execute random shapes. Stop and try to see shapes and ideas inside that, like with clouds in the sky

13/ Avoid being perfectionist

There are lot of great artists, but very few did a masterpiece quickly. Patience is the key. Don’t have to high expectations. Surprises are on the way

14/ Keep your old ideas aside

Don’t lose them. You could still be interested by them. Or rearrange them with your current knowledge

15/ One project at a time

Don’t lose your focus with many projects. Would you prefer several great drafts or one solid project done fully executed?

16/ See what others have to offer

A musician can have the issues you do. See how other creative people are dealing with that

17/ Meditation

Meditation helps to clear your head and be more effective. Try it!

18/ Sport

Sedentary isn’t good for your body and mind. And sport helps you clear your head too

19/ Go to the nearest library

You can find books that you weren’t looking for originally

20/ Follow artists blog

They will talk about their process, and also their fears and failure. Always inspiring

21/ Buy tutorials

Learn from the best. Buy and watch the process of many great artists. It will give you new ideas and technics, and new technics can give new ideas

22/ Create your own blog

Show what you do, explain who you are. People will give you helpful commentaries about your art, and many new paths to follow

23/ Type « random ideas »

Google will help with new ideas. Some are bad, some are great. But why wouldn’t you give it a try?

24/ Analyse other artworks

See behind the execution what was the goal of the artist, how he managed to achieve this result. He also started from a blank page, don’t forget that

25/ Ask a close friend a theme

And stuck to it. You don’t have the choice now, do something

26/ Another point of vue

Take one of your artworks and try to do something different: the axe of the camera? A new texture? A character? A new story? Something that could happen?

27/ Stay tuned

Add to your bookmark websites who provides all the new trends in design and 3D

28/ Work with music

Music has the ability to give your happiness, calm and inspiration

29/ Feedbacks

There are plenty of forums where you can share and discuss about your artworks, and what others are doing. Always inspiring

30/ Collaborations

Try to work with people from 3D, but also outside of the 3D community. You could find new ways to express yourself

31/ Don’t give up

Try, and try again. The key is to know your value, your weaknesses, and the fact that determination is the key

32/ Travel

Go out from your town, your country. You may find new habits, people, colors and inspiring moments

33/ No distractions

Try to find one or two hours where you don’t allow any distraction, and just focus on your art. Shut down your phone please

34/ Say yes to the world

We miss most of the time opportunities because we are scared: scared to be not as good as expected, not to have enough time… Believe in yourself and say yes

35/ Talk to professionals

There are artists, and there are agents and people working in the creative industry. Meet and talk to them. They can have precious advices

36/ Get an inspiration folder on your hard-drive

Anything you like, copy-paste it onto your folder. Don’t loose any great inspiration

37/ Try new colors

Start a project with an unusual color, and see what will happen

38/ Create a persona

That’s a UX trick. Create a fictional character. If human: what he likes, what he likes to wear, what is his job

39/ Think different

Not like Apple of course. But tell yourself: « And if I was doing the opposite this time? »

40/ Find new textures

A new texture is a new path leading to a new cool object. When you just start a new asset, the rest can flow

41/ Browse Turbosquid

See what models are available on Turboquid. It can lead you to new ideas too

42/ Think about styles

There are thousand of styles and eras with strong identities that can lead you to need great artworks

43/ Watch movies

It can give you ideas, but you have also great examples of colors and composition. Always helpful for me!

44/ Get better with fundamentals

Buy books about anatomy, photography, studio lights setup, macrophotography, minerals. You won’t lose your time and find inspiration

45/ Create something that can help you

Find what can give you the ability to learn something new, or that can help your career

46/ Do Everydays

Many artists force themselves to produce a finish art by the end of the day. You can’t have the luxury of procrastination 😉

47/ Start with a rough shape

Everything starts from a sphere or a cube in 3D right? So what happens next?

48/ If you had a gun on your head

Think about that: What would you do right now because you must do something?

49/ What are you saying to the world?

You have something to say. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be an artist. Show what you have to say

50/ Give yourself a deadline

Give yourself a deadline for every project you have. It’s when we don’t have the choice that we create the most