Odd and Inspiring Spaces
Inspiration is the eternal pursuit of anyone in the creative industries. We are always searching out new and unique designs, always looking for fresh ideas to incorporate into designs. Spending hours in front of a computer screen can sap creativity and leave designs looking flat and shapeless. Without a constant stream of new inspiration, burnout is nearly inevitable.
Here are five unique ideas for inspiration sources you may have overlooked:
1) The city.
While everyone seems to go to nature for inspiration, you can find something different and unique by heading out into the urban jungle. Take note of the architecture, of the people, the places, the chaos and the quiet. Get up close. Stand back and take a far-away view. Talk to new people. Walk through a neighborhood you’ve never been to before. (Using common sense, of course, I’m not suggesting a stroll through a gang-infested ghetto.) Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to discover something new about the place you live, or a nearby town.
2) The sounds of music.
Music activates our brains on a whole other level, which gives the part of our brain that’s always on-call for producing creative projects a break. Choose music appropriate to the project. If you’re working on a marketing campaign for a kickin’ new brand of sneakers, reach for the fast-paced rock-n-roll or dance songs to liven your mood. For a more serious project, say a new logo for a law firm, you might try classical. Dabble in something outside your normally preferred genre, but don’t try too hard. If you’re listening to something you hate, you’ll be so distracted by annoyance you won’t be able to focus.
3) A museum.
The art of the future is informed by what’s been done in the past. Maybe you’re from a smaller town and don’t have access to the Met. Think outside the box. Chances are there’s some display of the area’s history nearby, whether it’s an official display in the local Chamber of Commerce office or a Pioneer Days festival held at a small farm.
4) With kids.
Kids have the craziest minds. My son said to me yesterday, “What if all the animals have this secret communication, like a way of talking to each other that we don’t know about, and we’re the odd ones out?” At the time, he was watching some ants.
If you have kids of your own, you know they are a constant source of inspiration, a spring of ideas welling up and spilling over.
If you don’t have kids of your own, consider volunteering with a local Head Start program, or just go to the park and choose a bench near the playground. Watching kids in action is a great way to get inspired. Worried about paranoid moms calling 911? Take your lunch, and eat while you subtly observe. Remember what it was like to ride a swing, race down a slide, or run across a wood-chipped lot. Let the memories refresh you and channel that energy into your design.
5) Anywhere you can get a new perspective.
Inspiration is sometimes elusive. If all else fails, give yourself a break. Take a walk. Go to a movie. Read a book. Go rock climbing. White-water rafting. Ride a bull in a rodeo. Ok, maybe not that last one, but the idea is, get out and get active. Exercise stimulates feel-good hormones in our brains, which in turn, invite creativity to the party. Get out, get active, and feed your creative soul.
|Tom Chu works for PsPrint and PsPrint Blog. When he’s not sitting behind a computer, Tom likes watching sci-fi movies and Japanese cartoons, hitting the golf course and playing with his four dogs. You can connect with Tom via Google+ or Twitter.|