“My country is young and doesn’t have a history, how can I get inspiration?” is a question asked often.Firstly, your country is really only young in its current form. All countries have a past, just not the traditional history that many European countries have.If your country is a young country only colonised in a few hundred years, far from that being a disadvantage use it to your advantage. It gives you a unique perspective that is not readily available to people living in countries with a more traditional past.Your country may have had a native peoples living there. Tap into their myths and legends, superstitions and culture to produce something unique.Use your landscapes in a similar manner.Background Research Books Books hold so much knowledge, and ideas for inspiration that can be used as stepping stones as ideas for your own art and fiction. Immerse yourself in fantasy fiction, art and traditional history of all types. Learn as much as possible.Other artworks Obviously, you cannot just copy other peoples works as that is copyright theft, but there is nothing stopping you looking at peoples work for inspiration to see how they put it together, how they use lighting, posture etc. Or how did the author build their world, what are the rules within it etc.Location “Again, without the history and legends how do I create a traditional fantasy landscape?”You don’t. You can, but why do that when you can use the world around you to create something unique? The US in particular lends itself to this with its vast unique and diverse landscapes. Elves would fit into the Redwood forests. Imagine the unusual Castles that would be in places like the Arches National Park for instance. Or perhaps your world doesn’t even have the traditional trappings of fantasy?Research your background information thoroughly so you know what works, and then use that as a guide to make it up.”I don’t have a castle?”What is important in a castle? Location, Defence, weapons, water, position etc is important. The most important thing about a castle or fantasy building in art is they look as though they could stand – are they architecturally sound.Get out there! What does dawn look like rising over the mountains or caressing the desert sands. Can you feel the sand brushing your face, getting into your eyes? Does the desert absorb sound leaving you feeling alone?How do you feel alone in a dark forest? What do you imagine lurks in the darkened waters?Go take a look, there’s no substitute for the experience and beauty of our own world.Naturally, always take all safety measures necessary. You want your fantasy characters to do the bear fights and getting lost in the desert etc. You want to get back safely so the world can share your unique art or story!Use your imagination & InspirationYour greatest tool is your own imagination. Develop and use it. Learn to visualise your world.Different artists and writers will have different ways to gain inspiration. Some will do gardening, others listen to music and others walk. Find out what works for you. Free your mind and welcome images and ideas that ‘intrude’ on your conscious thoughts. Take notes so you will remember them later.ConclusionHave fun!Fantasy is a fantastic genre to be enjoyed and shared by everyone. So what if your elf has round ears or your redwoods have gone purple! Maybe there’s a reason; you decide.