People often ask me where I get the ideas or inspiration for my drawings. To be honest, they come from almost anywhere. I take tons of photos when I go to the zoo, and often at least one will spark a drawing when I get home. I try to use my own reference photos whenever possible, but sometimes I have an idea that I have no photos for (the humpbacks are an example). Other times, I will read something or see something on TV that will give me an idea. Just the other day, I was reading a book on the big cat art of Guy Coheleach and part of the text reminded me of a scene I saw in a documentary (probably on Animal Planet), with a pride of lions circling a tree containing a leopard and its fresh kill. Suddenly, it was so vivid in my mind that I knew it would be my next drawing. But there's another drawing I want to do of a bald eagle that just came to mind seemingly out of nowhere. I've been working on that one in my head for months now and it's finally coming together to the point where I could start it. Other times, I have to work on a composition. I have a series of square drawings of African mammals, and the square format requires some serious planning.
I keep a notebook with all my ideas for future drawings. I typically work on one at a time, mostly because that's all I have room for, and once I'm finished I go through my list of thumbnail drawings and pick out the one that speaks to me at that moment. Some of my ideas have been around for years, unrealized, because I simply feel more motivated to do something else. And what is the point of starting a project unless you are 100% into it?