Where do ideas come from? 6 tools I use to nurture my creativity...

The short answer is, I don't really know. They just pop up and seem to build on themselves.
The longer answer involves several things that I think help my brain develop creative ideas. Here are 6 tools that I use almost every day:

1. Following other creative artists. I spend a little bit of time every day looking at the work of other artists. Lately, I've been focusing on self-portraiture, so I've been analyzing the work of artists like Jonna Jinton, Lizzy Gadd, and Lyndsay Doyle. Not just scrolling through their content, but stopping to actually think about why I like their work.

2. Reading voraciously. In the past few years, I've mostly read non-fiction. Books like Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin, and The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot by Robert McFarlane, make my imagination spin out of control. Children's books and stories often influence my ideas too. Today's self-portrait (below) was directly inspired by the Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen.

3. Meditation. The first thing I do every morning is meditate. I use the app Insight Timer, for guided, or timed silent meditations. I also use meditation throughout the day if I'm struggling for ideas. I'll either listen to a meditation with the app, sit in silence, chant a mantra, or follow a breath pattern, for 5-6 minutes. Sometimes ideas start to come up.

4. Daydreaming. One of the things Dave emphasized at the Evolution workshop was that we make sure we leave time for daydreaming. Time to just sit and wonder about what could go right? What is the best thing that could happen? What is the craziest big thing that could happen in my life? My daydreaming is often done as free-writing.

5. Free-writing. I have been journaling daily for 3-4 years now. I try to do it in the morning, right after meditation. I just write whatever comes into my head, stream of consciousness, for 15-20 minutes. Some days great ideas are born out of a single sentence.

6. Getting outside. This may be the most important one. I often find ideas when out on walking my dog. I'm lucky to be surrounded by beautiful natural walking trails. I have lovely woods 5 minutes from my house. I often get ideas for photos or places to take photos. I try to take it slow and have a good look at my surroundings. Nature offers so much inspiration, from tiny immaculate details to grand vistas.

How do you feed your creative mind? What helps you come up with new ideas for your art?