How to be creative? How to stay creative? Learn 50 ways

How can I have a creative mind? How can I become more creative? How do I find ideas?

There are haunting questions. And you will agree with me that the digital blank page is a nightmare for many 3D artists.


So, how to be 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 creative and to 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/ Limit your 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 same issues as you. 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 finding 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/ Get 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