December 5, 2016

Using Art as Writing Inspiration


I've always been a big art lover. My grandmother started teaching an art class for me, my siblings, and our cousins a long time ago. She can't do it any more, but that got me hooked on art from age 5.

It was my mom's idea to have us start writing stories using art as a prompt. I wrote many stories in my grade school days based on pieces of art. In this post, we're going to look at how you can use art as inspiration for your own stories.

Using Art

Art, especially pictures, have always inspired people. That's why writers have whole Pinterest boards just for the pictures that relate to the story. Art can be just as good a writing prompt as words.

The next time you're looking for a story idea, try this. Choose something, like genre or a person, to define your choice, or just go with your gut.

Start by selecting a piece of art that inspires you. And by inspire, I mean it makes you wonder about the people or place, or makes you think of a story. Have it in front of you, and just let your mind wander. Consider everything in the picture and how they could relate to a story. You could also try asking what if or what's going on.

Finding Art

But where to find the art? Almost anywhere. I suggest starting with traditional art, the type you can find in art galleries. Wander through, and look for pieces that catch your eye. Write down their name so you don't forget which one it was.

Another suggestion is to look on Pinterest or Google for images relating to the genre you want to write in. The digital art people can create astonishes me. And if you want to go even more abstract, start looking at more modern art.

For an example, once I was looking for a sci-fi writing prompt, and came across the picture below of a robot holding a baby. It immediately sparked my creativity, making me wonder why a robot cared about a human. I started writing, and came up with a sort of sci-fi Sleeping Beauty story. I haven't gotten to writing it yet, but that feeling of your brain firing up is what you want for your inspiration.


I hope this gives you some ideas for the next time you need them. It may not work for you, but it's always nice to have something new to try.

Have you ever used art of any type as inspiration for a story? What's your favorite way to find inspiration? Let me know in the comments.

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