Inspiration is Everywhere

Hello everyone! My name is Lindsey, I am the design intern here at Melinda McCaw Media. I want to share some design advice and some personal world view on finding creative inspiration. It’s vital to find and thrive from inspiration you find to fuel your creative drive to not only strengthen your work, but to also pass along to your teammates. This keeps your mind sharp and readily available for quick input, split decisions, and to help build on when starting from a blank canvas. To start with nothing isn’t a productive way to go about creation as you tend to chase your own tail. Compiling a mood board and having a general sense of direction will make your work stronger out of the gate. So how to maintain your inspiration levels? You have to learn to seek it out.

From Your Mind

No, inspiration doesn’t usually just fall into your lap. Everything is derived from something, but the ability to call on it faster comes when you constantly exercise your creative muscle. I personally doodle at a consistent rate. Whether it be character design, observational drawing, or just general technical practice, it helps keep me exploring new avenues of thought and deepening my skills. Create an arsenal of ideas to not only build upon later, but they may just fit into your next project’s mood board. You begin to carry with you a toolbox of yipping thoughts, eager to make an appearance, instead of being left to scavenge a desert for scraps of half formed ideas.

From Your Environment

Where you work has a lot to do with how you can create. There is a lot to work with wherever you are, but focus in on where you are working. You have 30 minutes to create some concepts to pitch, and you are sitting at your desk. Where do you turn? Some of the best ideas I’ve ever had come from good conversation. Talk to your coworkers and throw ideas at them. You may have something that you think is brilliant. See how it lands with your peers, they may see it differently.

The internet is also a very powerful tool to use for inspiration and research. Pinterest gives you the ability to gather work that builds ideas in your head. It’s useful to keep a Pinterest board or blog to compile anything that resonates with you. Don’t be afraid to let the work of another to inspire you, just don’t copy it.

From Your World

In my sketchbook class at Colorado Mesa University, I heard the phrase “I don’t know what to draw” over and over again. The fact is you know what to draw when you are ready to view your world through a different lens. Find faces in patterns you see, look at the new shapes created by shadow, or distort your perspective. You can draw what you see, or change what you see. When you open your mind to the entire world being the subject, that phrase becomes lazy.

The same concept goes with design. Brainstorm your ideas. Begin with a base word and find forty words that relate. Pick two words at random and create a logo/poster/design piece with those two words. Of course, it may not end up with just what you pick, but it can create a beginning to your thought process. Don’t adhere to the same process over and over again. The more you work on seeking inspiration, the faster you will find it.

Seek out something that inspires you every day. Whether it inspires you to create, sing, dance, or just simply appreciate it, it is inspiring. Gather these things in your mind and absorb them. Everything that you experience forms your creative mind. Look for them and they become more obvious. You will be a better designer for it, and it will shine through in your conceptual work. If you can be inspired by anything, you can always start on that blank canvas and come out with something great. Find inspiration, and become one to inspire.