Where to find inspiration and how not to lose it


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Rolling inspiration stones

I don’t know what about you, but I need inspiration and in big doses. The ability to think creative and good imagination are very helpful qualities in any work, but they are worthless without inspiration. As inspiration is the main engine driving you forward, giving you wings, turning on a light bulb above your head. Even the word itself in Latin (inspiratus) means “blow (life) into”, meaning it would be an end of life without inspiration. How philosophical: no inspiration – no life, isn’t it.

All the artists were facing crises of creativity one time or another. They were telling “Let the Muse visit you” to each other, meaning a good wish of inspiration. And the inspiration itself was famous for being a rolling stone, uncontrollable, unpredictable, coming and going any time it desires. The times changed, but the need for inspiration stayed all the same. On the other hand because of all the technological gadgets nowadays we have much more sources to look for inspiration.


So what are the sources of inspiration?

Since my childhood I am looking for inspiration in all the little things, in anything that looks interesting, catches my attention. Quite often though something what is interesting to me is grey and plain for other people and vice versa – where others get inspiration I would not find a squat. Being a child I used to bring home full pockets of chestnuts, leaves, cones, stones and beans. But although those thingies can really be a great source of inspiration this story is not about them.

I could point out several main categories for inspiration. They are emotional, materialistic and educational. Emotional sources for inspiration in my opinion are any activities related to emotional experiences. It could be hanging out with friends, passionate hobby, good movie or act or even having a walk in the park. Material sources are the things you collect, which you admire, dream about and buy. For example I have a collection of nice greeting cards. As one my friend pointed out once: now I know why designers like Apple products so much. You look at your iPhone – it’s so lovely… A real source of inspiration. And they didn’t pay me to say thatJ. Finally it could be not so materialistic material things, like a nice stone with a hole (just today I found one in the garden), a red toadstool, a nice building or hell knows what…

And finally educational sources of inspiration. In this category I include attending exhibitions of fellow designers (although it could also be emotional source), reading books and magazines and even browsing nice websites, especially some design portfolios. It’s like that most important constant learning – we learn from colleagues, they learn from us. And thus new trends are formed. And naturally every professional and wannabe professional has to follow, discover and know them. Frankly it’s more than just learning, because we would not force ourselves to do that – more often than not it’s our passion, thus connected with emotions.

But who needs those descriptions

They are probably worthless, except they help to explain a bit better. But I think much more important is not how we name the source of inspiration, but how we actually find it. And if you look at it that way, it’s really very simple. If you don’t like theatre, it doesn’t matter that other people say, you won’t find inspiration there. You would likely feel uncomfortable, be bored, yawn, snooze and look at your watch all the time. So it’s much better to not force yourself and better do what you really enjoy. Movies? Music? Books? Bowling, bicycle, a walk in the park, coffee shop, kung fu, yoga, cooking pasta?.. Same is with things – keep only ones which really inspire you. Obviously if they can only fit in your house J. Greeting cards, books, magazines? It’s a great idea to have a nice shelve of illustration books, which you can look at whenever you feel like. I personally even keep pictures I find on the internet. Tidily, in separate folders, named “logo inspirations”, “poster inspirations”, etc.

Ant what is your inspiration? 🙂