Allison recently wrote a post with advice on what to do when you’re feeling creatively drained and aren’t sure what to blog about. I sometimes face a similar dilemma so I decided to write about how I stay inspired to design day after day, even when it feels like I’ve hit a creative roadblock.
Some of my personal favorite places and ways to get inspired:
I know how obvious this seems, but there are some insanely cool design sites out there and there’s definitely no shame in being inspired by other people in your industry. The face that we’re living in a time when anyone can share their work with the entire world is awesome. I constantly find myself amazed (and sometimes overwhelmed) by what other designers and artists are putting out there.
Here are some I visit on a regular basis:
The World Outside the Internet:
Don’t act like you don’t sometimes forget that’s a thing! It’s so easy to get sucked into our screens for hours at a time and forget that some of the most inspiring things are going on in real life or “IRL” (I think that’s what the kids are calling it these days?)
Classes and Shows:
Sometimes a visit to the IMA, a local art show, or other event is all I need to get inspired and start thinking about things in a different way. It’s a nice change of pace to get out and see people who work in other mediums because it causes you to think about art and design from a different angle.
I took a glass blowing class at the Art Center recently and the most challenging thing was training myself to problem solve in a way that I wasn’t used to. Unlike other mediums I’m more familiar with like painting or sculpting, glass requires precise timing, utilizing gravity, and there’s less room for error. Once I got the hang of it it was really fun and I was excited about learning a new skill and creating something while completely out of my element.
Print and Packaging:
One of my favorite things about graphic design is that there’s no escaping it. Even something as simple as going to the grocery can be a great way to check out trends in color, style and typography. It’s fun to see new and innovative packaging designs, and also compare them to the classic styles. I like to flip through magazines to see what sort of layouts are being used and which work best. We also do a lot of trade show materials for our clients so I’m always collecting brochures and flyers when I see them, and will sometimes pull them out to look at before we start a new project.
If you’re in a creative field, I think the important thing is to know what personally inspires you, but also be ready to see inspiration around you as well, because it really is everywhere you look.