Documentaries to Stimulate Creativity

Kirsten Kreiling | Artist to Artist, In the Know | January 16, 2018

Every artist is looking for ways to become inspired. There are variety of ways for that to happen, but one of the simplest is to merely peer out a local window and survey this world that God has created for us. Yet, sometimes we aren’t so imagination focused and can’t squeeze out every ounce of potential inspiration that lies around us. We need the presence of a director! Documentaries are a fantastic way to get motivated with your next project. You’ll find below a list of inspiring documentaries that can easily be accessed online in just a few clicks.

Sky Ladder — On Netflix
Sky Ladder is a wonderful journey through a medium you might have not even considered before watching this documentary. It’s a beautiful journey of colors, explosion and dreams. Even if you aren’t making things explode with your art project, the resilience of this artist and the creative ways he produces projects will leave you motivated.

Abstract: The Art of Design — On Netflix
Abstract: The Art of Design is a wonderful mini-series on Netflix that has only a few episodes, but they’re jam packed with creative inspiration. From illustration to footwear to stage design, you’ll get an inside look into many specific art specialities that will have you rethinking your own medium.

Chef’s Table — On Netflix
Who doesn’t enjoy watching beautiful food? Your first instinct might be to shrug off any food documentaries because it doesn’t seem to have much to do with art, but in reality, these chefs consider art a main component of their dishes. They’ve mastered the ingredients; now it’s all about presentation, glamour and creativity.

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life — On Netflix
This documentary peers directly into the unique story of Floyd Norman, an animator for Disney Studios. See how the first african-american animator for Disney makes an impact and creates a legacy like none other.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi — On Netflix
Inspired by my love of sushi, this is a wonderful documentary that highlights the beauty to be had in food. Jiro is one of the world’s best sushi chefs and his craft is bar-none. With ultimate devotion to the highest quality ingredients and attention to detail, this documentary will make you take a double-take at your art.

She Makes Comics — On Netflix
When you think of comics, you might quickly think of geeky men who simply want to talk about Star Wars and Marvel all day long. She Makes Comics is wonderful foray into the world of comics that is flourishing with women getting opportunities to be creative and flaunt their skill in the geeky world.

Barista — On Prime
Hidden deep on Amazon Prime, there’s a great documentary about competitive barista competitions. It’s a delightful experience to watch these master baristas take their craft to a competitive level and truly push the limits of traditional coffee. An inspiring film that can help you think outside the box.

Dear Mr. Watterson — On Prime
You may or may have not grown up with the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most beloved strips of all time and this is a wonderful documentary surveying the impact of its creation and what it’s like making a comic strip.

You might have read all of the summaries pertaining to these documentaries and thought, “I don’t make coffee, comics or sushi!” What’s so beautiful of creativity is that it transcends genres. You don’t have to make sushi to be inspired by the devotion of Jiro and you don’t have to make comics to be motivated by Bill Watterson. Take some time to watch some or all of these movies while making your own projects and see the fruition of well-deserved rest coupled with inspiring film.


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