Before getting into the heart of this article, let us consider something first. If you were the only person on the planet, would you still be as creative as you are now? Or do we inherently draw inspiration from other designs and things that we see?
My answer is this. Though we are human and generally crave to create something brand new and unique, whether it be music, works of art, computer programs, magnificence buildings, automobiles, or whatever, we do tend to draw inspiration from what we see, and adapt it to fit into our particular project. This is not to suggest that we should plagiarize anyone's work, but merely stating that if it were not for the wonderful & awesome pieces of art that have already been created, many works yet to be created may never be realized. Simply put, creativity fosters creativity.
But let's get back to the topic at hand which is how to avoid getting into a rut, or getting burned out. Let us suppose you're driving down the central street of a major metropolitan city. When you look around at the buildings, traffic, and people hurrying off in all directions, do you see beauty or the beast? What if you're taking a trip down a dusty back road out in the country somewhere, with no houses or people to speak of for miles? Visiting an art museum? A planetarium? Watching a movie or viewing a commercial on TV?
I hope you're getting my point... which is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and finding inspiration is more about your attitude than viewing a masterpiece.
Sometimes, the best place to look for inspiration is a place you’d never think to look. Actually, sometimes it could be the place you’ve always avoided. If you take the time to look around you, I'm sure you'll begin to see the real beauty that is all around us, and specifically start to generate creative ideas based on what you see. Generally there is at least one component or element in any design that stands out and says "Here I Am". It's those types of elements that you want to incorporate into your own designs and projects.
As a web designer, I know how difficult it can be at times to find inspiration. To come up with a unique website design for each and every client. To that end I offer the following:
It’s between those the places shown in the above diagram that the most remarkable, creative ideas are found. The best place to find creative ideas is between everything you've considered, know, and the impossible.
You'll want to get into the project and just start designing as soon as you can. Remember they're just drafts until it's finished, so keep revising and don't be afraid of failure.
- Look around
- Dream the impossible dream
- Just start designing
- Keep revising
- Don't be afraid of failure
- If all else fails... walk away for a little bit and relax. Try to take your mind off of the project by doing something completely unrelated.
Tom M. Wiseman