5 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

Finding inspiration is one of the most challenging things that designers and artists have to do, in both personal and professional work. Even for experienced designers, this challenge is no less frustrating, since it can be hard to come up with ideas that feel fresh and original after you created a large body of work. Here are some ways to overcome your creative blocks and not become discouraged.

Change Your Scenery

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Designers are often told to “think outside of the box.” Well, that is easier said than done when you’re handcuffed to a cubicle. A change of scenery and a change of routine is exactly what the doctor ordered! You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect to get different results. Something has to change.

Changing your environment works because it gives you access to new sensory stimulation which will inform your design decisions and choices. It can also improve your mood and your motivational level, both of which will directly effect your creativity.

Most designers and artists draw heavily on their emotions or their current mood, and channel that into their work. This is why you can’t take your environment for granted and allow yourself to get into a monotonous routine if you want to produce your best work.

Try visiting places in your area or abroad that you think will help inspire you. Your local art museum, a park, or even a local shopping center can offer you the spark you need to create something new and amazing.

Sketching and Free Drawing

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Sometimes the problem isn’t a lack of ideas, but an overabundance of them. When your mind is too cluttered with thoughts, it’s hard to focus. Sketching and free drawing exercises are good away to get your ideas out and allow you to concentrate more easily.

This has the added benefit of allowing you to see whether a potential idea is something you can execute for an actual project.

Drawing something abstract usually works very well as a free drawing exercise. It allows you to tap into your subconscious and leverage the creative aspects of your mind rather than the logical ones. This will stimulate your creativity.

Feed Your Creativity

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Creativity is like a muscle, you have to work it to build it up. You have to stretch it to keep it limber. And it also needs fuel. You have to be very careful about what media you consume and how it influences your creativity.

Reading and listening to different types of music are great ways to increase your creativity because they stimulate different parts of your brain, as well as improve your patience and attention span. Listening to music without lyrics is great because you are not utilizing the logical portions of your brain that process language.

Have Creative Conversations

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Creativity doesn’t thrive in isolation. The idea of an artist locking themselves in a room and creating a masterpiece is a myth. Having like-minded people to share and bounce your ideas off of can be invaluable to you and really help stimulate your creativity.

Your fellow creatives can be a source of not only inspiration but comfort as well. Being a creative professional can be daunting and having someone who understands what you’re trying to accomplish can help eliminate some of the feelings of anxiety and isolation that start creative blocks.

Participating in online communities as well as local groups with other creatives can help you build a network of people you can reach out to when you feel the need.

Experiment

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Once you find something you are good at or comfortable with, it can be easy to make it your routine. But this can be dangerous because it can stunt your overall creative flow. To do your best work, you have to be fearless and experiment with using new tools and techniques. You must challenge your problem-solving skills on a regular basis in order to generate new ideas and have a fresh perspective when approaching your work.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new applications, techniques, and tools from time to time. If you are used doing a task in one program, try duplicating the desired results in another program. This will increase your options and at the same time let you approach a project with fresh eyes.

Final Thoughts

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Stress is usually the main factor in a creative block. Anxiety about a project or negative emotions can diminish inspiration and creativity. Taking care of your body and mind will also allow you to sustain your creativity and your ability to produce amazing work.

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Posted on: March 10, 2015

Roberto Blake

Roberto Blake is a Graphic Designer helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses improve their branding and presentations. Roberto also teaches Graphic Design and Adobe Tutorials through his YouTube channel and community. Roberto's Photoshop artwork has been featured in publications such as Advanced Photoshop and Photoshop Creative Magazine. See robertoblake.com

1 Comment on 5 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration

  1. Alena Govtvyanitsa

    March 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Excellent options for inspiration 🙂 thanks. I’ll recommend to designers. But also I can offer you one more site http://www.designcontest.com/ Here you can find a lot of designer’s works. Logo, website, business identity and so on.

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