Gather Inspiration

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in , , | No Comments

Gather inspiration

In contrast to immersing yourself in your industry, gathering inspiration to ready your self for specific projects is all about diversifying your sources of inspiration and looking outside of your industry. Ideas are the lifeblood of designers, and the more you are exposed to the creative world around you, the greater the breadth of inspiration to find creative potential.

Keep one eye open at all times for fresh design, ideas and inspirational thinking. Collate the things you like, the work of people you admire, ideas that make you pause and think or creativity that creates awe or the coveted smile in the mind.

Bury your head in:

  • Books
  • Films
  • Art
  • Photographs
  • Conversations
  • Blogs
  • Science
  • Nature
  • History
  • Portfolios
  • Music
  • Daily experiences
  • Anything away from the monitor!

Train your mind to find abstract connections between these things, to be receptive to new ideas and look in new and unexpected places to find them. Going to a new exhibition, trying a new genre of cinema or music, researching a new field of technology or even taking a different route to work. Creativity is after all, the opposite of routine

The Wild Web

Be selective about what websites you visit. It’s easily to be sucked into the ‘trend’ trap and be influenced by aesthetics that are of the moment. If you do need high quality visual reference, I still consider Behance a goldmine of talent due it’s global community, collaborative spirit and filtering options. What you may find more useful are case studies of proven ways of thinking to solve similar communication problems — the thought process rather than the artistic execution or visual aesthetic. Keep an eye out the new wave of emerging ‘intelligent’ inspiration sites such Crayon, that claim to allow you to browse over 13 million real marketing designs, filtered by media, industry and success rate. Use Google images as an obvious / cliché  / ‘what not to do’ reference point only.

Welcome change

The principal approach to having an abundance of creative ideas for things to inspire you is to vary your sources of input and to evolve ideas in an assortment of ways. You will benefit from opening up your world to as many new experiences as possible.

Consider keeping reference either in a filing system, an ‘inspiration folder’ on your computer, or an online Pinterest page. Curate your favoured and inspired content using online RSS feeds or content aggregators such as FeedlyFlipboard/Zite or RebelMouse. Using these can bring the relevant content streams to you, rather you having to search for them.

Remember also, that with smartphones, today we all carry the tools for note-taking and photo capturing the things that resonate with us. Set yourself up an Evernote account to use as your digital scrapbook synced to all your devices.

Ultimately, you must develop your own source of inspiration and find a system that works for you. There is not a hard and fast rule for finding inspiration nor generating ideas from that inspiration.

Continue reading the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ series

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