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Creative Inspiration – Part 2

Posted on April 22, 2009

It?s finally here! I know that you?ve been patiently waiting. Well, maybe not patiently. Part two of our creative inspirations. For you reading pleasure, here are just a few more of the many, many was to find inspiration.

Helping Others

Sometimes the most inspiring thing that you can do is helping others. Whether that means giving a co-worker feedback on a web site they are designing, brainstorming ad concepts with a team, or participating in on-line forums such as SmashingMagazine the Graphic Design Forum or Estetica. Just knowing that I’ve helped create that glimmer in someone’s eye when they have an idea, or helped solve a problem that someone has been stuck on, reminds me that the work I do has value, and gives me that extra little push and boost in confidence that is needed to be creative.

Pro Bono Work

Similar to being inspired by helping others, doing work for a good cause, something that gives you the warm fuzzys, can bring out the best creative ideas. Creating a web site that helps young pregnant women in need, a web site and CD that helps to raise money for children in Africa, a web site raising donations for a sick little girl, any cause or fundraiser that pulls at your heart strings and bring tears to your eyes can be the best inspiration around. It’s so important to know that creative work has value, that it can inspire someone to donate, to reach out and help someone in need, or to help spread the word about a cause that affects them personally.

Keeping Up with the Trends

Sometimes all it takes is browsing through the latest design annual from Print, How or CommArts. Just reviewing the outstanding design pieces of the year will open your mind and start the ideas flowing. A great font in a brochure combined with an illustrated logo style and a patterned background from a web site can be combined to make a fresh and exciting Call for Entries. Don’t be afraid to borrow pieces from another design and make it your own. Who knows, maybe you’ll come up with something so innovative that it will end up in next years design annual, and you will be the inspiration for another creative-blocked designer!

Other People

Sometimes all it takes to get out of a mind block is just talking to those around you, be that coworkers, spouse, family, friends, or that friendly man at the gas station (you know, the one who hangs out there all day, everyday). Each person, with their unique interests and out look on life, can get you thinking in a new direction, maybe one that you never would have explored before. Next thing you know, a brilliant idea a ad is born. Just like magic.

Do Something Mindless

Every once in a while all it takes for creative genius to strike is just giving your mind a break and letting it do it’s own thing. That could mean doodling, not anything in particular, just letting your mind go to see where it will take you. What’s that on the napkin you just scribbled all over? Hey, it’s a brilliant logo! Or lose yourself in a book or movie (it can even be one of those cheesy romance movies, no one is judging!). If you just let your mind go, no pressure, no one breathing down your neck, brilliance will strike. And you actually get to sit down and enjoy yourself for once.

What Inspires You?

I’d love to keep this post going, but I need some help! What gets you out of your rut and into the creative zone? I’d love to hear your creative inspirations.

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Images that Inspire

Posted on April 15, 2009

Just wanted to share some inspiring photos. Some beautiful, some thought provoking, some just plain weird. Enjoy!

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Creative Inspiration – Part 1

Posted on April 7, 2009

It’s happened to all of us, even the most seasoned design professionals. You sit down at your computer, ready to produce some amazing work for a new project that you are super excited about. You have your mouse in one hand, and some Starbucks in the other. And then?nothing. No ideas. No glimmer of creative brilliance. Now what?

There are many, many different ways to find creative inspiration, and while different things work for different creatives, here are a few things that spark ideas every time. And this is just part one of a two (or more) part series.

For the longest time,
Mike Doughty’s Haughty Melodic could inspire me when nothing else would. I can’t really explain it. There isn’t one specific song, it isn’t because it is a ground-breaking album, he isn’t even one of my top 5 favorite artists. But there’s just something about it that allows me to open my mind, and then the ideas start flowing. I must admit that I haven’t listened to this album for a while, probably at least a year, but I bet that the next time I get stuck and need an idea, I can put on this album, sit back and let the ideas come to me.

Believe it or not, I’m most productive, and creative, when there’s pressure. A quick deadline, a new and exciting project, work overload. There’s something about the added pressure that gets my heart racing, my blood boiling, and the ideas flowing. Of course, sometimes this backfires and too much pressure makes my mind lock up tight, no ideas, no confidence, no time left. But then I simply turn on Busting Up a Starbucks (see inspiration #1) and I’m back in business.

New Environment
Sometimes the best thing to do is to just get out. Leave the office or home, sit outside, get some coffee (yes, Starbucks can be an inspiration), window shop, browse through the local unique flower shop. Anything to get your out of your chair, to get your body and mind moving again. Something just a simple change of location can give your mind the spark it needs to start working. But don’t stay away too long, there’s still a lot pressure waiting for you back at the office.

Interior & Fashion Design
That’s right, interior and fashion design and graphic design influence each other. Who knew? Interior and fashion design trends are a great source for beautiful textures and colors interacting together. A funky chair could inspire a logo. A new fabric pattern could inspire a web site. The possibilities really are endless, so don’t feel bad about looking at newest fashions at work! It’s all in the name of inspiration.

Art History
It’s true history repeats itself, but who said that has to be bad thing? Knowing where art and design comes from, what worked and what didn’t, is a great way to find inspiration. While browsing through some old art books something from the Art Deco era will catch your eye, and inspire a new logo. Maybe the red and orange hues in the sunset in Edvard Munch?s The Scream inspire a color palette for an annual report. So browse through those art history books, visit an art museum, paint-by-number, what ever floats your artistic boat.

What Inspires You? Part two (and maybe part three, four, five?) of this post could use some more ideas. What gets you out of your rut and into the creative zone? I’d love to hear your creative inspirations.

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