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Ignite your inspiration

One of our constant challenges for our creative department is coming up with new and fresh ideas for our clients and in-house activities. And sometimes under tight deadlines. So a daily dose of inspiration is very important to us and we strive to incorporate that in our daily activities, our workflow and environment.

I always advice that when looking for inspiration for a project try to avoid looking into sources of the same field as the project you are working on. This way you can be more creative and able to come up with something more unique. You also have less chances to be a copycat, something that in today’s creative world is very common.

My personal favourite sources of inspiration is the collection of art books for games and movies, as well as books of design collections for web, branding and graphic design. Additionally I love being surrounded with toys, action figures and collectables as it is very important that our environment reflects a fun and creative attitude. From Game studios to big Advertising agencies, many apply the “playground” approach in their offices, and it is no surprise that research suggests that how old you feel has a bigger impact on your productivity than your actual age. Eric Jaffe expands on this topic in a very interesting article here.

Inspiration will not just come to you while waiting and doing nothing. Neither by forcing it. It’s a matter of attitude, lifestyle, habits and workflow. You can’t control it but you can definitely create opportunities to attract it. And those opportunities can be different for each of us.

Here are a few personal suggestions that will help you be more open to find inspiration on your daily routines:
 
  • Allow space in your daily schedule to follow and browse through various online inspiration galleries or blogs you enjoy. Catch up with what’s new and what’s trendy. A few suggestions will be Behance, Vimeo, Awwwards, FWA, Pinterest, and Dribbble.
  • Create an offline or online personal gallery of your most favourite inspiration resources, such as images of artworks and designs, videos, websites, articles, etc. You can use your browser’s bookmarks to categorize and store any of your favourite online discoveries, as well as Pinterest to gather visual inspiration you can use as references and inspiration triggers.
  • Always take a step back from your work by taking short 5-10minute breaks away from the screen. If you are stuck on something and you can afford to spare an hour then try to switch off from your project and return with a fresh mind. When your eyes and mind are clear you will be able to identify better solutions to your problem and what direction to take. Along the way inspiration will find you easier. 
  • Exercise often, either by taking a walk or at the gym. A morning workout before work will help you be more productive for the rest of the day, and more open-minded for creativity and new ideas.
  • Attend or at least watch seminars and talks on various subjects that interests you. Even on subjects that have nothing to do with your field of practise. Expanding your knowledge and interests helps you expand your sources of inspiration. I will personally suggest to especially follow TED talks.
  • Discuss and brainstorm with your colleagues often for ideas. If you work alone there are online communities you can actively participate, or you can even chat about it with friends over a coffee. You never know when a conversation or random thought could spark something new.
In general, no matter what kind of methods you will incorporate in your daily routine, a lot of the time you will need to come up with a unique and creative idea for a project instantly or under a very tight deadline. No matter what you do don’t just sit there and try to force inspiration by either thinking about it or browsing online on galleries or in books until it comes to you. Instantly start working on your project, either by creating mock-ups or sketches, and eventually you will get there. While you work your brain will start feeding all of the relevant information and resources you experience daily and sooner or later you will start discovering the right direction that you want to take. During this process you will also start finding references and visual triggers from all the resources you learned or gathered, and before you know it you will find yourself starting to conceptualise your next big idea. 

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Loris Stavrinides
Loris Stavrinides

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