How can we grab hold of the reins of inspiration, and lead ourselves away from dizzying thoughts that run in circles? By taking an interest in things and collecting bits of knowledge that can later become the tools of inspiration. According to William Channer, “Sometimes, our problem is not that we are not inspired, but that we are inspired by the same things. In order for designers to push the boundaries we need to absorb new materials. But when a deadline approaches, we frantically seek inspiration in all the same places. Our outlook is narrow.”
So when the pressure is on, it’s helpful to have a list of thoughts and facts to rummage through. A movie you saw might have a reference or scene that will get your creative juices flowing. Paying attention to little things, interactions, colors, designs, and mistakes can have a big impact later on, because being creative and finding inspiration are matters of having a relatively organized reservoir of knowledge already in place. Which means you shouldn’t “restrict yourself to your own medium. It’s just as possible to be inspired by a filmmaker, fashion designer, writer or friend. Cross-pollination makes for an interesting outcome. Remember, this a long-term game. Unique experiences, when ready, will converge and achieve a, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’ response, which is what you should strive for.”
Make a vast library of mental notes filled with thoughts, scribblings, almost illegible whims, things other people did, said, or created. Arm yourself against the creative rut with plenty of ways to get yourself out. After all, you never know when something will come in handy and it can really come in handy during the Listen Think Do process at SMZ.
Find the rest of the article here, along with ten steps to get you inspired.
Katie Green, Creative Intern