How to start art journaling > Lesson 4

Translating inspiration into art (How to do the actionable inspiration thing)

All over the internet we have sites that promise inspiration, ecourses teaching us how to make boards to inspire, and an entire website devoted to this.

But here’s the thing.

Inspiration does not exist.

True inspiration is the kind that leads to immediate action. Inspiration that leads to nothing tangible is nothing.

Yup, we said it.

Before we dig any deeper, we want to clarify what inspiration is. Inspiration is not a group of pictures saved to Pinterest because it looks pretty. Inspiration is the good stuff that leads to making. Inspiration can be a long walk outside, a hot bath, a cup of tea, or time with a loved one. It can also be an art journal page you saw of someone else’s. It can be a picture from Pinterest.

As long as it leads to making.

It’s gotta lead to making.

Caylee’s thoughts

There are few things that fill my inspiration well quite like artist dates. Watch the video to see how I translated a visit to my closest art museum into two art journal pages.

The gouache painting I printed out is from the Museum Geburtshaus Anselm Feuerbach and was painted by his sister and not him (sorry Emilie!).

    The gouache painting I printed out is from the Museum Geburtshaus Anselm Feuerbach and was painted by his sister and not him.

    My tips for translating inspiration into art:

    • Take photos of details that you like and want to remember
    • Create a small element for each thing, and then put them all together on your art journal page
    • Google is your friend
    • Be loose with your interpretation
    • Be very biased with what you’re moved by (this is what makes the page your style)

    Lauren’s thoughts

    For me, the world is my inspiration. I love to travel. I love new things, new places, tasty foods, rich colors, getting lost, snapping pics and then making art.

    I know that above statement can feel overwhelming. No I’m not telling you to go book an expensive trip to the other side of the world. I’m simply telling you to open your eyes and see! Look at the colors in the sunset, the patterns in the leaves, take note of anything that catches your eye – then turn it into art. I talk a lot about this in this episode of How She Creates and how I believe that EVERYONE is an artist. Listen here. 

    Caylee and I discussed inspiration even more in depth in the How She Creates podcast in Episode 008.

    Action Steps


    Take yourself on an artist date.


    Create a moodboard.


    Then create from that.

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