Now that we have established that we must be inspired by our own work, I must include that is also very important to be inspired by your favorite artists and everything else around you. The artists and styles you enjoy and appreciate are what got you interested and will help you to improve. Sometimes doing studies or just learning from your favorite artists will help you learn their techniques and style which you can adapt in your own way. Same goes with nature and the world around us. If making a new original creature or monster, take a look at the creatures that live on this planet, insects, reptiles, and sea life especially carry an enormous amount of weird and strange creatures, very odd and alien.
When I use reference, I use if for inspiration more than duplication. It is very important to make the work your own and not just a copy. Trying to reproduce a masterwork has its benefits, but I much prefer to take pieces and ideas to learn what they are thinking and doing rather than the end product. Creature designer Carlos Huante said that when he is creating a creature he will study different kinds of animals and creatures and then when he creates he pulls all that info from his mind rather than copying.
I will be doing a couple warm-ups in a style inspired by some artists I have recently discovered and been inspired by. Pictures will be posted next post. Hope this blog helps out and inspires you to try new things and push yourself further outside the box.