I have a love/hate relationship with scouring the internet for visual inspiration — sometimes when I’m looking through creative blogs and sites for interesting stuff, I usually come up blank. But if I’m in a pinch and I need very specific reference — then I’ll usually find the inspiration I’m looking for.
What luck! Of course, it’s not luck — I figure it’s more to do with the fact that my attention is narrowed. Kinda like this quote…
If you look for something to complain about, you will find it… gratitude is a choice of emphasis.
Having spent most of December drowning in the gloom of AI generated “art” my cup of inspiration has been pretty empty — though not through lack of looking. Then last week I found myself in a design review which required me to find a few unique examples of packaging where colour had been used to differentiate a range. Not surprisingly, when my attention was narrowed to a specific topic — I was inundated with ideas.
Simply the act of emphasising what I wanted to be inspired by was the key to unlocking a whole world of ideas. And as obvious as this sounds for finding cool packaging, this approach can equally apply to your career progression as a designer. Consider it a form of creative goal setting — the only type of productivity framework I willingly participate in.
Emphasise the change you seek
Since 2019 I’ve been making New Year’s “Creative Resolutions” as visual agendas I wanted to pursue in my own craft during the following year. But unlike my normal resolutions (like swearing less or surfing more), this habit turned out to be a really powerful catalyst for change and has had a huge impact on pushing myself as a visual designer.
It’s a way to break monotony, to push yourself and to build comfort in the unknown. The success of this seem to be the same as with inspiration — when attention is narrowed to something specific, it becomes a priority.
So this is a question I present to everyone I coach at this time of year… what creative challenges do you want to take on in 2023?