A red, white and blue

Where to find inspiration By Ansari Prints

Inspiration, where does it come from?

As a creative person, I have often been asked ‘Where do you get your inspiration from? Sometimes I have to stop and think as most of my ideas for artwork, lino prints and carvings seem to come from the depths of my imagination. They also stem from many years of absorbing pictures from old books, art movements, folk art, pattern design, old posters and artist I admire. I have taken a lot from different sources over the years, which has helped shape and evolve my style and ideas also I spent a significant amount of time daydreaming especially when I was in school, and I still do. It is a highly undervalued activity.


Inspired by Nature

A lot of my inspiration comes from nature and I’m also lucky enough to have a beautiful Lurcher called Forest who is my muse. Going for a dog walk and observing plant structures, the wildlife and the landscape is really inspiring. Photos I take on my phone of plants and flowers and whenever I visit a museum I find tonnes of ideas. My phone is an excellent source of reference material which I can use to draw from at a later date if I don’t have a sketchbook to hand. Listening to music is a great inspiration as the mood and the lyrics can really inspire my visual work as well as Films and books are also great sources of inspiration and I find a wealth of ideas can be mined from those. Song titles or a sentence from a book often form an image in my mind which can make a really interesting print. Recently I have been toying with the idea of creating a series of book covers from my favourite novels and packaging for imaginary products or fictional book covers.

A mid century ceramic plate of a stylised bird in cream and navy.

Mid-century ceramic bowl photographed in the Fitzwilliam museum Cambridge.

A vintage indian textile design of a palm tree surrounded by flowers in burgundy, cream and brown

A section of vintage Indian textiles that I sourced from a magazine.

A stylised black and white drawing of a peacock

A section of a sketch from my sketchbook which has taken influences from both designs. This is an idea for my next lino print.

What do you do when you are uninspired?

What happens when inspiration runs dry? That can be pretty troublesome especially if you have work to complete for an exhibition or a project. The book ‘Navigating the Art World’ professional practice for the Early Career Artist’ by Delphian Gallery has some excellent advice for dealing with dry spells. The chapter, Writers Block, advises that it is best not to force it and to concentrate on other tasks that need to be addressed in your art practice, such as much-needed admin or arranging your studio/workspace. I really recommend this book, it covers a lot they don’t tell you in art school. www.delphiangallery.com


A photograph of a craved wooden angel.

A hand-carved wooden Angel in a church in East Anglia. This was the inspiration for my first Angel Lino Print.

A black and white pen and ink drawing of an Angel surrounded by flowers.

A pen and ink drawing inspired by the carved wooden Angel. 

A printed angel with floral design in red

My first Angel print is inspired by the hand-carved wooden Angel.

Sources of Inspiration

I spend a lot of time mindless doodling on scrap pieces of paper which is a possible catalyst for a new piece of work. Using scrap pieces of paper is a lot less intimidating for me than drawing straight onto a page of a pristine sketchbook. I have started sticking scrap doodles into my sketchbook where I can use these as a starting point. The best ideas come naturally and are true to me and can be my strongest pieces of work.


Asteon Cutchers Book Steal Like and artist is a great book to read about inspiration, and how to use influences in your work without directly imitating another artists work.