Guest Post: Finding Your Creative Inspiration

Finding Your Creative Inspiration

Today’s guest blogger is Julia of Julia Mary Photography. Julia is one of the most intentional people I know. She has a talent for listening and hearing what you’re saying, a passion for relationships and genuine care for the people around her. She’s a wonderfully creative person and a very talented photographer. Today she’s sharing two key recommendations on finding your creative inspiration.

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In a world of social media, phones, and computers the average person sees over 5,000 visuals per day. That’s insane! Each of these images impact us as artists, but do we even realize it? I often take a passive approach to being inspired as an artist and it’s usually without even realizing it but thankfully there’s another way!

Early on in my photography journey I remember a mentor encouraging me to “find inspiration from artists who are far beyond your skill level or outside of the photography industry.” Her caution was based on the fact that when one pulls too much inspiration from people within their own industry or at a similar skill level their work can quickly plateau or lack originality. The conversation happened years ago, but the concept struck a chord with me and is something that I often come back to.

Besides photography, I find inspiration in simple things like flipping through the pages of a magazine, admiring the graphic design on a beautifully crafted website, listening to peoples stories, watching the changing of seasons, listening to music, or eating at a new restaurant. Inspiration can be found anywhere!

Finding Your Creative Inspiration

Finding Your Creative Inspiration

Here are two things I’d recommend when finding inspiration:

Engage all your senses.

I typically think of inspiration in the visual form, but what about smell, touch, sound, and taste? One store that always leaves my inspired is, Anthropologie. Whether it’s the hand crafted window displays, smell of candles, open and airy feeling from the big windows and high ceilings, the feel of their letter pressed cards, or warmth of the lighting. I love it all! Whether you’ve visiting a store, restaurant or just going for a walk try engaging all your senses and see what stands out. You might be surprised!

Ask questions.

When you find yourself inspired ask yourself why and be specific. For example, if a particular image inspires me I’ll ask, “How did the artist use light in the image? What fundamental photography principles were used?, etc..” Most importantly I consider, “How could this inspire or enhance my own personal style?” Instead of, “how can I recreate this image, concept, or idea?”

When La La Land came out I left the theater incredibly inspired. The storyline, camera angles, and lighting was masterfully done. However, it wasn’t until I sat down with a journal and answered specific questions that I realized how I had been inspired and how I could incorporate some of those elements into my work.

If we’re not careful as artists, “finding inspiration” can quickly turn into the ugly game of comparison if you don’t approach it the right way. Asking questions is key!

Finally, have a central place to keep track of all the things that inspire you. Whether it’s a journal, Pinterest page, bulletin board on your wall, etc… Keep these things in front of you, refer to them often, and have fun!


Finding Your Creative Inspiration

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Julia has inspired me with her creativity for many years. Her love of simplicity, beauty, and creating things that matter inspires me. I love the way she goes after authentic friendships. It’s such a joy to connect with this gentle, humble hearted woman who loves being by the ocean, laughter, and Saturday mornings at the farmers market. You can connect with her at and on Instagram: @imjuliamary

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