The source of an artists (or creative – I’m keeping my umbrella wide) inspiratio is a century old conversation. Inspiration by it’s very nature is illusive. There but at the same time not. Choosing to hide in the shadows of our work as traces of something we have seen, heard, experienced. It can be hard to track down why we decided to put that mark to paper, just there in that shape. Why not the other corner? We fear to be called ‘copy cats’ and therefore shy away from sighting a specific source just in case our work resembles that of who we admire.
I can admit I have felt all these things and working within a creative industry, come across this age old question time and time again; where do you find your inspiration?
Yes from “everything”, “everywhere” and “life in general” but when your stuck for what to actually put down on paper, what notes to write or what to create working just from the space between our ears can be limited to what we last ate or posted on social media. Lighten up! We are all inspired by others and the sooner we welcome a collaboration between your own thoughts and others more work gets put into the world and we all better off for that.
With this in mind here are my tips for finding and saving those images that set off lightbulbs:
+ Pinterest: Ah yes social media helping us with both eating away time and providing a whole host of ideas from sources across the interwebs. Perfect for scrolling through at any given moment, saving sources and compiling ‘boards’. This is one of the areas I recommend to my clients to get a feel for their style and the images that resonate with them. Simply save to a board and see what the images have in common. The board above was created from images I had saved on Pinterest.
+ Old-school scrapbooking: The offline version of Pinterest that harps back to the twee flower pressing of your grandmas youth right through to contemporary artists and their doodles. I love seeing artists hands-on journals and scketchbooks. Full of ideas and memories that you can look back on and save for years.
+ Spotify: Save those tracks that resonate from a time in life when ideas just flowed. Sometimes it is non-visual clues that can immediately transport us to time in the past, a moment or a memory.
+ Attend a creative get together: I organise these myself in Oslo under the name Out of Studio, bringing together freelance creatives to learn a new skill, collaborate and get feedback on their ideas. The perfect place to muse on an un-finished idea and get feedback. Look out for events in your area and connect with your tribe via Meetup.com and searching for nearby facebook events. Or make like me and start your own!
+ Visit a gallery exhibit: This one is a little self-explanitary. I trust you get the point!
+ Get out into nature: Sometimes it is the simple pleasure of getting some air to get those ideas flowing. Instead of popping on a television series while you eat your lunch, take a short walk around the block or the park. Keep your focus away from your phone or music and instead look for the beauty around you. Take a camera and photograph everything that speaks to you. I promise your mind will feel a lot clearer and inspiration will come quicker!