If you ever get stuck on what to draw, dig through your old sketchbooks and see what recurring themes or characters you find there.
When I was a kid, I came up with a fictional college known as "Garther Lakes University" -- not because I'd created a Garther Lake, but because I thought the acronym "GLU" was funny. I've noticed that through the years when I need to slap some type onto a character's collegiate t-or-sweatshirt, Garther Lakes University is one of my go-tos.
Here's an example from 1977:
A jump ahead to 2007:
And from just this past year, 2015:
Will I use Garther Lakes a whole lot more? You bet! Will I start to delve deeper into GLU's particulars? Possibly!
I find that using the characters & places I invented as a child incredibly useful to me now as an artist. For One, it's a well that's easily tapped, and Two, it gives me a charge to feel like I'm collaborating with my younger-self; like I'm using that kid-playfulness to give a jolt of joy to my current work.
Here's the cover of my 1976 - 77 sketchbook. As you can see, Grumbacher was the company responsible for its manufacture. They also made the line of acrylic paints I used as a kid. (I'm sure if I cared to dig through the top 17 layers of crap in this house, I'd be able to come up with the box from that paint set as well.)
Somewhere along the way -- let's ballpark it at around the fourth grade -- I made this cat from clay. I painted it with the aforementioned Grumbacher acrylics, adorned it with this so-snazzy chain, and gave it the name Grumbacher. Grumbacher became a denizen of the Village of Beetlegrass right from the get-go, fitting in equally well with the purchased, gifted, and the handmade townsfolk. He's borne up surprisingly well after all this time. His tail has remained intact and attached after 40+ years of being moved from pillar to post. I wish I could say the same about myself!
Above is a page from my art journal from this past October, where one of the prompts was Black Cat. I sometimes use my journal pages to explore options for other characters to create (on paper or 3-dimensionally), or for furthering storylines. Here I was brainstorming more Halloween-themed finger puppets that I hadn't yet crafted. I'd drawn a Graymalkin (the name often given to a gray cat familiar) and name Grumbacher went really well with Graymalkin, so he turned up again! And he's still wearing a chain!
What sorts of themes and recurring characters, storylines, and ideas do you find when you look through your sketchbooks? How can you start using those in your work today? How can you further what you've started? Where does the story go from here?