You never know where you're going to find inspiration. Not long ago I made a trip to TJMAXX. While walking the isles trying to find the perfect flowerpot for my Easter cactus I came across a couple of birdhouses that looked like little beach cottages. They immediately inspired me, and I couldn't wait to get home and sketch out my own little beach cottage.
For me, the best part of this illustration and the reason to do personal work is that it can inform and change your process. This illustration was a bit of a game changer for me. In the past when I went directly to color, I had not really thought about color until that very moment. Sure, I had a general idea about the colors I wanted to choose, but I found that the process took a long time because I figured out my color by trial and error all while working on a very tight final image. With this piece, I decided to do a color study by laying down rough color underneath my sketch. I found this process, quick and fun. I wasn't worried about perfect lines I was trying things out. It was like I was playing. Using this process, I not only figured out my colors pretty quickly but once I removed my sketch layer. (I work digitally in photoshop) I discovered I liked how the art was looking as just blocks of color. So instead of starting over I took this rough color and tightened it up. So my color study quickly became my final piece.
So keep our eyes open you never know when or where inspiration will strike and don't forget art is supposed to be fun so loosen up and play.