“When you find something you really love — a painting, or a book, or a movie — spend as much time as you can studying it. Stand in front of a painting for 2 hours. Re-read a book several times. Freeze-frame a movie and study the composition of each scene.”
Austin Kleon, author of the excellent book Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, has put together a list of five tips for recent graduates that will help you even if you’re a not-so-recent graduate.
His suggestions include to study something you love in depth, talk to strangers, and pay attention to what you pay attention to.
That last one reminds me of some similar advice I’ve shared in the past.