How To Start Making Art (Inspiration & Supplies)

Sea themed painting in watercolours

I talked a little on my Instagram the other day about how creativity is more of a natural human instinct than we think. To quote one of my favourite books right now:

"Human beings have been creative beings for a really long time- long enough and consistently enough that it appears to be a totally natural impulse. Consider this fact: The earliest evidence of recognisable human art is forty thousand years old. The earliest evidence of human agriculture, by contrast, is only ten thousand years old. Which means that somewhere in our collective evolutionary story, we decided it was way more important to make attractive, superfluous items than it was to learn how to regularly feed ourselves." -Big Magic, Liz Gilbert

To me this is so true! I've been making (usually a mess) for as long as I can remember and feel like making art or being creative is something that everyone can and should enjoy. So many people I know stopped making things because they didn't choose Art & Design in school, or were told they shouldn't because they'd fail. 

There's really NO right or wrong in drawing and painting and making art, especially if its for the sole purpose of 'because I want to'. So here are a few ways you can start making art!

Do it for you

It's hard to find the energy for something and feel positive about it if you know you're just creating it to share with people- the fear of judgement often overrides the happiness that should come from getting messy, whether it's sculpting, painting, filling a sketchbook, re-drawing your favourite cartoons or writing poetry. So do it for you, because you want to and by all means share your creations if you feel like it. 

Don't plagiarise

Inspiration is fuel in the fire of creating, but there's a fine line between taking inspiration and taking someone's work/style completely. Mainly if you're thinking of selling your lil masterpieces, it's important to make sure you don't copy any elements of somebody else's work (especially large companies like Disney, or company logos). Colour palettes, topics etc are okay! The best way to make sure you don't accidentally copy is to take inspiration from many different sources (rainy day movies, books, cultures, artists), or just run with an idea that's completely your own. Dreams are a weird and wonderful source for ideas. 

Think about your print turtle painting

Find something you're passionate about

When it comes to finding inspiration for a big project, find something you really care about! Whether that's the California skate scene, shapes or colours in certain cultures, drawing portraits of rockstars or something more serious like equality. It's easy to make lots of work when you feel compelled to!

Materials don't have to be expensive

Even now, making a little money from illustrating, some of the materials I use are quite cheap. I'm only just beginning to splurge on good paper but the paint palette I've used all year cost me about £5. It doesn't matter how much your materials cost. Just have fun :)

Carry on

Don't get frustrated if things aren't going or looking how you had in your head. Like I said earlier there's no right or wrong, having a million sketchbooks is satisfying and really great to look back on. Remember that the more you practice, the more things are going to shape up how you imagine. If you want to learn more- try Youtube or Skillshare for tutorials.


I hope these tips help you and that you come across some inspiration easily! Making art is so therapeutic! There's a reason that the 'adult colouring book' trend became so huge. I'd love love love to see what you create or if you make art already, leave me a link to your work in the comments!

Do you have any tips for people just starting out?


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