INSPO (Some of my art Inspiration)

INSPO posts are dedicated to sharing some of the photos that are currently inspiring my work. If inspiration is like food, then we need it at least three times a day.

I hope me sharing my inspo helps you hit your daily quota!

Todays Inspo is focused on photos that display a unique use of color combinations &/or interesting use of light.

My inspiration is usually pretty random. I like to consume as many different sources of visual information as possible to direct & expand my visual vocabulary. So scroll down, have a look & enjoy!

Why I’m Focusing On Light & Color Inspo?

I chose to focus on light & color this week because whenever I try to venture outside of my subdued color preferences my work becomes pretty chaotic.

& while I enjoy how expressive chaos can be, I do think the ability to control & compose chaos is a skill I want to strengthen.

I also feel like a deep understanding of light is crucial for creating drama & mood, two things my work could use some more of. Sure drawing exaggerated facial expressions & distorted bodies can be a great way to achieve a dramatic mood.

But to me, there’s just something special about an artist who knows how to use light to create a mood. A painting with good lighting can be dramatic & emotional without using detail or revealing a figures face. To me this is masterful!

Two of my favorite examples of this kind of masterful use of light are the art of Caravaggio & the film Akira.

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 1.12.29 AM

Screenshot from Akira

I especially like the use of motion blur on the motorcycle lights. Its purpose is more for aesthetics than storytelling but still makes the image interesting & also effectively conveys motion.

Not only does it let you know the motorcycles are moving, but it also communicates they’re moving incredibly fast. 

There’s also a subtle effect with the buildings in the background, where they get less dark in value the further they are from the foreground.

It’s a nice technique to create depth.

This movie is filled with great technical use of light, I’ll provide more about that down below. 


“Judith and Holofernes” by Caravaggio

In Highschool, Caravaggio was one of my favorite artists when studying Art History.

I personally found his paintings effortlessly balanced aesthetic elegance & tonal dread. 

I love how the lighting uses heavy contrast for the male figures muscles making them look very tense.

This tenseness adds to the already tortured facial expression he wears.

In contrast, the young woman has this softer glow to her face with less contrast than the man.

She looks almost empathetic to the man’s pain. This is interesting because her face & body langue completely contradict her actions.

If it’s difficult to see in the small photo provided she’s cutting into his neck with what looks like a sword.

But she doesn’t seem into it, her body langue is leaning away from the act.

Akira: How To Animate Light

I provided a video from NerdWriter1 were he breaks down the use of light in Akira, & how integral lighting is to the film’s identity.

The primary focus of his video is to illustrate the unique ways Akira animates light. I really enjoyed it watching this & thought it would be perfect for this post.

I love NerdWriter1’s breakdown of Akira. He illustrates how powerful light can be to the storytelling of a film not just aesthetically, but also narratively.


Hopefully, me sharing some of my inspiration can inspire you. Or even help you get past potential art block.

At the very least I hope I provided you with some cool images.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment down below, I’m pretty active in my comment section!


  • Cherry Parks

    Your talented for sure. I think this is a awesome website and some of your art work is cool. You have more than a niche here, You can do tutorials right on this and make your passive income. I know I would truly like to know how to add such captivating art work on my page. Good job.

    • Gaius

      Thanks for the kinds words,

      just so there’s no confusion the art above isn’t mine. It’s inspo, I do have my art on this page I just wasn’t sure what art you were referring to exactly.


  • Candice

    Hello Gaius!
    I really do admire art and artist; however, I must admit I am not much of an artist…although I would consider myself as creative. The images you shared seemed to inspire my creative side. Thank for sharing. I will take a look around your blog for more creative inspiration!

  • suzanne

    Hi Gaius,
    Great article showing the use of light to create a mood. I’m an artist too, though I’m not doing nearly as much as I’d like to.
    I took a look at your portfolio. Wow! And I love the Asian influence.

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