Finding inspiration with reality television

From the start I just want to say that I am not a big one for reality television shows, but there are a couple that I find good and will watch. Though there are particulars reasons that I like them. There are two shows that I have found to really inspire me and get me thinking.

One of them is Project Runway, and the other is Masterchef Australia.

Through these shows we can learn a lot as artists. They show you how people are given a concept, come up with a design, they construct it and finally it is presented.


They are given a theme or certain materials or ingredients to use for their next piece of work. This is where thinking conceptually comes in. You have to be able to think that way so you can almost imagine what the work will be. It does require using your imagination and working out what the final image will be like.

I know that the new work I want to undertake requires me to work conceptually.


This is where you start working out how it will be made. That can be done in your mind or on paper. It is up to you, but to do this sort of work you need to use some sort of design.

I tend to work in my head. Occasionally, I will write things down. I used to do it a lot with other art mediums, but I find I don’t really do it so much with the photography. I probably should and I might have to make more of an effort.


The next step is making it happen. This is where you put your concept and design together until you have what it is you are trying construct. This is the hardest part really. It is here where you find out if it can be done, and where the concept comes to life. Some concepts work really well and then some don’t work at all. The ones that don’t work mean rethinking and re-conceptualising the original ideas. This is where you start working on the problems.

This is something that I am constantly doing with my photography. I am always trying things out to see if they will work. When they don’t, then I have to rethink what I’m trying to do and see if I can do it in another way.


This can be the scariest one of all. It is where you put your work out there to show people what you have done. It can mean you are open for criticism as well so it makes it that much harder. The key to this part is believing in yourself and feeling confident about what you are trying to do. Don’t listen to people who are just mean, but if people want to give you constructive feedback you can listen to it, though don’t feel you have to do what they say. It is all subjective.

It is amazing how much you can pick up from these shows. Watching how the designers and home cooks cope with the challenges that are thrown at them is amazing. I don’t know how they do it so quickly. I watch in awe.

I really only started watching Project Runway a couple of months ago and as I watched I started thinking a lot more about my own work. My mind was swimming with ideas and I wanted to get back into my artwork.

It just goes to show you never know where you will get inspiration from.

What about you? Where do you find inspiration? Have you found some reality television shows that have given you inspiration?

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  1. Hi Leanne, I’ve never found reality TV inspiring, as I’m a raving introvert.
    What I have found useful though, especially to study composition, is to take shots of the screen during movies and or TV series and then spend time studying them. Not a la Miroslav Tichy, I might add. It’s truly impressive how well the shots are balanced, show good use of colour, and so on.

    1. I don’t like the personality crap, so I tend not to watch shows like that.
      That is a great way to do it as well, I had a teacher at uni that used to say to use the tv. They can be a bit strange, but some shows are wonderful. Thanks for sharing that.

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