Q: “How do you get your ideas?” or “Where do you get your inspiration from?”
A. This is the question I get asked the most often (after “is that normal?”). There is no formula for having ideas or feeling inspired. The best suggestion I can give is to always have one ear and one eye open to what is going on around you. Be receptive to new ideas and reconsider old ones. The only guarantee I can give about inspiration is that it will strike at the most inopportune of moments. In the meantime, while you are waiting for inspiration to strike, there are a few things you can do to help you bide the time: Read lots As an illustrator you will nearly always be asked to put pictures to another person’s words. It is a good thing to be able to assess the quality of those words and the ideas they contain. Being an illustrator is more rewarding if you can be articulate when discussing work and exchanging ideas. Feel free to send me book recommendations, as they are always welcome. Look at other people’s work I admire the work of Eric Fraser, The Steinberg Brothers, Earl Oliver Hurst, Thoreau McDonald, Tom Friedman, Margaret Kilgallen, Anthony Valonis and Ivor Cutler. Looking at their work makes me feel good. It makes me want to pick up a brush and recreate that good feeling when I look at my own work. This gives me a reason to keep going. Cultivate interests Be it handlebar mustaches, gingham appreciation or chubacabra sightings. Pursue anything that you find intriguing. This serves two purposes, firstly you can bring these interests into your work, this will help you infuse your work with a sense of personality and make the work your own. Secondly your interest in breeding pangolins or playing the William Tell overture on your teeth will keep you going through spartan work times. However, the single best piece of advice I can offer about finding inspiration is to travel independently as much as you possibly can. Traveling is the best way there is to expose yourself to new experiences and unexpected situations. It will make you look at the world anew and find the unusual in the usual.
“Hikikomori (ひきこもり or 引き籠もり, Hikikomori?, lit. “pulling away, being confined”, i.e., “acute social withdrawal”) is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive people who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement because of various personal and social factors in their lives. The term hikikomori refers to both the sociological phenomenon in general as well as to people belonging to this societal group.”—Hikikomori - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia