Most things inspires me but especially food and environments which do not work well.
Art and nature is often my inspiration. It takes a beautiful and thought provoking painting, print, or sketch to draw me into my own creative world. The walk through a wooded area in the cold, to simply observe my surroundings. That to me is true inspiration.
Inspiration comes from unexpected things. I love hearing snippets of conversation, observing people's reactions and expressions, everyday situations and unusual situations, embarrassing moments, everyday objects, family and friends, grafitti, other artists work...I write things down in a little notebook and store it for when I need it. I love it.
Most of my ideas are born through sketching and doodling.
Many, many things inspire me as an artist. A large focus of inspiration comes from old fantasy and sci-fi movie posters, B-movies, American 1950's & 60's ads, tattoos, mythology, cartoons, and toys. Japanese anime and big monster kaiju are also a very big influence. I really like the seedy underbelly of society and things that have a kind of shady feel.
I love daytime TV talk shows, real life crime documentaries about serial killers, random acts of chance and general freakishness of the human race.
How are any ideas born? Some things are triggers. It just depends on what it is one pays attention to and what things one desires to learn or perhaps tell stories about. Or maybe worse... ridicule.
If inspiration comes from source energy, or god, or what ever it is that cosmic goo is that our souls are made from, if you buy into that stuff, then what ever it is I am tapped into is pretty amusing and ironic.
So for me, inspiration comes from simply listening to the condition of the human equation, or the news. Or mainstream television. Or alternative media. Or any media. Current events. Anything. I listen. It's meditation. To be the Observer.
Things that I find interesting and observe are politics, current events, popular culture, philosophical explorations, drugs and shamanism (come on -- I came of age in the 70s and was disillusioned just enough with the times to embrace punk when it hit, thankfully!), socialism, communism, democrazy, Zizeck, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, people who are provocative in any arena inspire ideas and art...(I am currently fascinated with Lee Atwater, and the Rev. Hagey) even if I don't agree with their agendas... the persona and the characters may inspire ideas and art. Let us not forget this, nor the context and the time in which we may take advantage of such wonderful fodder for imagery.
Using your imagination
Depends on the project. Sometimes I wake up with an idea, sometimes I am pressured (in a good way) with a deadline, and sometimes I need a cattle prod poking me in the butt. Honestly a lot of the times inspiration only hits me because I have committed myself already to the end result. I work backwards, but I usually can get inspired before too long!
It comes in Dreams and then I quicly jot it down before i forget, i have tons of them... "I do not start a painting with sketches, I do not paint on location, and I never work from photos. I get this burst of imagination and energy. Having felt that creative energy, I rush to my studio, dip my brush into paint, and let it move freely on canvas."
A lot of my inspiration arises out of the beauty of the mundane, the grandeur of the unassuming details we tend to pass over. Sometimes it's the way some random girl has her hair tied up, or a shift in the way I feel about my physical appearance. Basically, if it's too weird or boring for most people, I'm all up in that.
An idea for me begins with passion (that sounds like such a cliche'). Passion to say something about a subject. My art portrays my feelings and ideas, when words may not be able to do so. Inspiration is an explosion of concepts, and if I am really lucky- it contains a greater understanding of a subject.
No particular method. Ideas make themselves known through memory, everyday events and happenings, newspapers, magazines, tv, cinema etc.
The muse visits . . . something clicks when I read a newspaper or watch a late-night talk show.
Beauty, grace, and color of God's creatures.
Ideas are things you recognize like a face in a crowd. A good artist creates circumstances that allows him or her to find those faces. Creating accidents, doing things for no rational reason, changing up proceedures, are just a few ways to change or create unusual circumstances. When you have done this, look into the crowd of ideas. You'll probably see something. This is inspiration.