Designers and freelancers in general need a little help staying inspired from time to time. We all have places we like to browse while brainstorming; you never know what’s going to spark the perfect idea for you.
The internet is a wonderful resource for creative inspiration. It gives you access to more information in one place than any other medium.
It also has a huge flaw.
It’s home to more distractions than any other form of inspiration. Because so many distracting sites are just a mouse click away it takes a lot more will power and focus to stay on track.
To avoid distractions and help you stay focused, here’s my list of places to find creative inspiration, without going on the internet.
There are some really amazing art and design books out there. Flipping through a physically printed book can help get your mind into a relaxed and creative state, while putting you in direct, tactile contact with printed design matter.
Reading fiction has been proven to increase brain function, reduce stress, and increase creativity. All very welcome features when looking for creative inspiration.
The power of time off and non-client creative work.
A lack of inspiration can sometimes be attributed to general tiredness or being worn out. Don’t forget to take breaks, and don’t be afraid to take extended breaks from client work when possible to focus on other, more personal, creative work.
This is such a powerful practice, that well known New York-based graphic designer and typographer Stefan Sagmeister has actually started shutting down his design studio completely, every seven years, for a whole year. During that year he focuses on travel and completing personal creative projects that are purely for the sake of development and personal growth.
This is a bit of an extreme practice and is likely not an option for most people, but I think the idea is a powerful one. We could all benefit from some artistic exploration, even if it’s just a weekend retreat once a year.
There are magazines for almost every niche out there. Find a good one and you can have a full dose of inspiration delivered right to your door monthly.
This is my personal favourite way to reset my brain when I’m getting bogged down on a project. Nature has an amazing power to refresh and reset our minds. Usually after about twenty minutes of being outside of the house I can’t wait to get back inside and start trying out a few new ideas.
Creativity breeds creativity. Surrounding yourself with other people’s artistic endeavours is sure to get your creative juices flowing. Art galleries and museums tend to be quiet places, perfect for working, so remember to bring a notebook and pen. If inspirations strikes, you can find a bench and start sketching out ideas in peace without waiting to get home.
This one might be a little more controversial. We’re often surrounded by it, and more often than not it gets a bad reputation. However if you look at the core idea, it’s the perfect inspirational material for a lot of designers. Visual art that is based on the form of letters and exciting colour palettes. Typography and colour schemes are part of the fundamentals of design, so pay attention next time your stuck at a railway crossing and the ideas start flying by.
Where do you find your inspiration without getting lost on the internet? Comments go here.