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Searching for Inspiration

Sometimes finding inspiration for a new creative project can be a task in itself. We have all been there – sitting at the desk, staring into the computer screen and wishing our brain would just magically click and let you have an out-pouring of amazing ideas, but unfortunately inspiration just doesn’t work like that.

One of the best ways to find inspiration for projects is to actually get away from the space that you work in, get out of the familiar and see what happens. This can really help if you’re feeling stressed about your work, because you might just be going over the problems too much, when really all you need is to clear your head. This could start by simply taking a break and going for a walk. When I do this I always take my camera, it’s relaxing and when the mind is at rest new ideas can evolve and take shape.

You might already know what places inspire you. For me its parks and nature, so I know when I take a walk in an area like this I feel comfortable and can get some good shots to use in my work. However, the same could be said if you’re inspired by modern architecture or people – having a walk into the city centre armed with your camera could provide you with tons of things to inspire you.
Another good idea for inspiration is to sit in a public place and draw what you see. You could do this in a cafe observing the people around you, watching their body language and facial expressions. This could even be a good way to publicise yourself as an artist in your local area!

After you have gathered some material and information, sit yourself down with a lovely cup of tea (or another hot beverage of your choice) and think about what you saw or if anything stood out to you. Write down your ideas and take a look through your images. If you really wanted you could even create a bit of a mood board or take to Pinterest to start to plan ideas which could then turn into some good work.
Another thing you could do if you’re still feeling uninspired is look at your old work, you might find something that you used to enjoy drawing or crafting, and this could trigger a new idea. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Creating new work at the end of the day is meant to be fun! If you’re not feeling inspired, try experimenting with new materials and mediums or try a new approach. Sometimes when you’re doodling ideas or making messy art in a sketchbook, these things can lead to a good piece of inspiration and work.

Always ask people what they think of your work. If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, getting other perspectives is a great way to figure out what is working and what isn’t. There’s lots of great ways to do this, whether it’s just asking your close friends for advice or even putting your work out there to the wider world!

It’s always important to gain more knowledge on a subject as this allows you to have a better understanding on a variety of topics, enabling you to think outside of the box. If you have an idea in mind – research this area in depth! Or if it’s a certain skill that you need to improve on in order to work on an idea, try teaching yourself more about it. One way of keeping inspired without even leaving the house is to look at blogs, websites and books. See what other designers and artists are doing. Some of my personal favourites include;

It’s Nice That / Creative Bloq / Creative Boom / Design Juices / Pikaland / Illustration Friday / A Beautiful Mess / graphiquefantastique.com

There isn’t a right and wrong answer to how you gather inspiration or where it comes from. The important thing is to not be too hard on yourself and accept mistakes. Some of the best ideas simply come to us when we are playing around with new material, or even when we are just nodding off to sleep. Just remember that an idea can spark at any moment, all you have to do is jot it down and that’s where it all begins.

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Written by Jessica Holden,
and illustrated by Natasza Cetner.

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