As an artist, there is nothing worse than staring at a blank canvas, or piece of paper, and not knowing where to start. The easiest and most rewarding way to set a clear path to a successful art piece is by brainstorming. Brainstorming can take on a variety of different forms, but we’re going to share our top three favourite methods.

Concept Map

The great thing about concept maps is that they can be as intricate or as simple as you want them to be. Start from the middle by either writing out, or drawing your topic, then build out. Use a variety of colours, symbols, key words and images throughout your map. I find it most beneficial to group sets of ideas by colour coordinating them. The key with concept mapping is being able to identify your own creative process to figure out what style mind map works best for you.

Thumb nailing

Another popular brainstorming method is drawing thumbnails. Thumbnails are important because they provide a quick and easy way of knowing if what you have picture in your mind will actually translate well onto paper. Start by drawing anywhere from 6-8 small squares on a sketchbook page, and then let your ideas flow. When doing thumbnails it`s best to focus on the bigger picture; thumbnails should be used to establish approximate locations for major elements.  

 Drawing ideas from your surroundings

Look around you! Sometimes the best inspirations come from right under your nose; whether it is the pattern on the tiles in your studio, or the intricate beading of an old vintage hand bag.