In Lowbrow Art Academy’s August Live Training, Jesper used the example of Martina Hoffmann, H. R. Gigers apprentice to illustrate how it’s possible to use another artists techniques and methods and still create something original, with your own point of view.

Doing your own original stuff is really hard!

We all dread the dear-in-headlights-panic that comes from staring at a blank piece of paper. Sometimes the pressure we put on ourself is just plain paralyzing. And then nothing gets done. Nothing comes from nothing, as my mom says. Sometimes in a desperate attempt to get something done, you end up borrowing too much from artist that inspires you, and that will just make you feel shitty.

Here’s a few good advice to avoid panic and plagiarism:

Steal from as many as you can.

In this exclusive course preview Jesper is creating a piece inspired by three different artist, combining signature elements from each of them. That’s a great way to get started, when the blank paper is mocking you, but also a solid method to create something new. Remember everything has already been done, sometimes the original element is a new combination.

Be openminded when it comes to inspiration: sure you might want to do Lowbrow art exclusively, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting inspired by pretty much everything else as well.

Collect the stuff you love; fill Pinterest boards with adds for baby food, portrait paintings of noble ladies with giant wigs, old horror movie posters or whatever you can think of. Make your boards public and share them with likeminded.

Gather physical stuff: vintage photos of strangers, patches, pins and buttons, retro fabric, wall paper samples, collect old mugs from flee markets and whatever you might fancy. The point is sometimes the texture and the feeling of an object is what’s inspiring, even if you only work in 2D.

Capture images yourself: bring a sketchbook wherever you go- the small doodle of the lady standing next to you waiting for the bus (but seriously- don’t be a creep), might be something you can work with at a later time.
Take pictures of something you’re interested in! For example I have an alarmingly growing collection of photos of dead birds and roadkills that hasn’t amounted to anything…yet. Make sure you look at the things that inspire you; select pieces from your collection and put them on display.

Print some of your images from Pinterest or your smartphone or camera and hang them on your fridge or wherever you can see them everyday. Interchange regularly.

Finally- get out of the house and see people! Being an artist can sometimes be a very lonely experience, full of doubt and the crushing pressure to constantly develop and produce. Find likeminded people, join a community you can depend on and share your art. Getting feedback on your work is crucial, but sometimes being the one offering it can be just as important.

Read Austin Kleon’s awesome book Steal Like an Artist. It’s just a fantastic read for artist of any kind!