Thinking about the experimental process ... it's a wonderful thing! I spent several hours at the weekend sitting with a pad of paper and drawing leaves, both real and fantasy. At some point I will use them as the basis of some new work.
This time I only used pencil on lined paper, as it was what I had in front of me, but you could try a range of different pens, pencils, colours, and different papers too. If you're feeling exciting you could do a collage (a great way to recycle your junk mail - pizza toppings make fantastic textures!), or paint something, or even go the whole hog and paint a full colour background on your page and then draw on top!
Keep your scribbles, even if they end up in a shoebox under the bed rather than in a scrapbook or sketch book. If you get low on inspiration then just go and take a look in your box - you'll soon find something which excites you!
You may never use them, you may use them months or even years later, but remember to keep creating. Everything you do helps you to grow as an artist, to hone your physical and mental artistic skills.
A box can be a great thing, when used alongside traditional sketchbooks, especially for those who work in 3D. Little luggage labels can be attached to objects so you know when/where/why you chose them.
Taking photographs also helps to develop your eye as well as your technical skills, doesn't take up space, and can give a wealth of inspiration for future projects. Try taking photos from different angles, or of close up bits you would not normally give a second glance. I quite like drain covers - there are so many fabulous geometric designs which can be tweaked, coloured, embellished and tesselated for borders and abstract work!
Now is a great time to collect and press some leaves, and take pictures of those gorgeous autumn colours and sunsets. These lovely warm colours, reds, oranges, russets, will keep us going through the depths of winter until the snowdrops come again in the spring.
I leave you with one of my favourite quotes:
Experienced silk painter, glass fuser, teacher, enthusiastic and inspirational.