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Sample your own artwork!

Creative project Factory

Key data

Techniques: Drawing, Painting
I can do alone: Yes
Required time: < 45 minutes
City: Home
Theme world: Text & Image


Letters, words, quotes, numbers, logos, heroes, songs, symbols, codes, ciphers ... Thoughts come, go, mix, like sampling in music, bebop or hip hop. Artists use various sources of inspiration and leave their traces on paper and canvas, but also on refrigerators, clothes, furniture or doors. What inspires you to create your own artwork?
Sample your own artwork—the following instructions will help you!

Instructions for making it yourself

You will need

  • pens or chalk
  • paper


  • acrylic paints and paintbrushes
  • oil crayons
  • painting surfaces (canvas, old wooden pallets, laths, cardboard boxes, refrigerator :-), clothes …)

Step 1

Like Jean-Michel Basquiat, go in search of sources of inspiration for your artwork!

Ponder this

What “sources” do you draw from? What songs, lyrics, or people occupy your mind? What food do you like, what cities? What annoys you the most? Why?

Step 2

What characters or symbols come to mind when you think of certain songs, people, or lyrics? Maybe combine them with words or lines from your favorite song or poem that inspired your artwork?


In his work “Untitled” (1983), Jean-Michel Basquiat sometimes crosses out words but still leaves them on the canvas.


What effect does he achieve by doing this?

"“[...] The first paintings I made were on windows and doors I found on the street.”"

Jean-Michel Basquiat



Now, if you like, transfer your sketch to a large painting.


What will your symbols and codes look best on?


Go in search of different painting surfaces, e.g. boards, canvases, cardboard, scraps of fabric…


How does the effect of your painting change on a different surface? Could your painting also consist of several parts? What are the possibilities?

Delve deeper

Artist Factory

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

was born in New York, USA, in 1960 and dies there in 1988.

Delve deeper

Artwork Factory

Artwork Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1983

Jean-Michel Basquiat combined symbols, words, letters and drawings in his picture. The painting is untitled, but because of the unique mixture of recognizable signs and traces you can read much from it as a viewer. With oil paint and oil pastels, the artist painted restlessly diverse references ranging from European cultural history to African-American counterculture.

"“[...] I have to have some source material around me to work off.”"

Jean-Michel Basquiat