Having an inspirational routine can be a great process for anyone. Sometimes inspiration comes from motivating factors like staying alive or from family and friends. Other times the things you see, read, taste, touch or hear can inspire you. I look through a wide variety of sources for inspiration and that thing to make me think differently. Inspiration can keep your ideas and artistic process fresh and fun.
Remembering that inspiration can be found from any creative field, even if that field isn’t related to yours specifically, is the key to expanding your ocean of creativity and finding inspiration everywhere.
TED: Ideas Worth Spreading is a nonprofit that started in 1984 (love the Orwell reference) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. The website is packed with videos from some of the greatest creative minds. Prepare to be inspired!
Sometimes randomness can yield the most inspiring and out of the box results. A site that keeps me inspired, and clicking, is FFFFOUND!!! an image bookmarking site that can be filtered down to images you may like by the previously clicked image.
More user submitted randomness can be found at the ever inspiring Notcot.org.
Wooster Collective is a blog that was founded in 2001. This site is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world. They even asked their 10,785 Facebook fans What lately has been inspiring you?
The FWA: Favourite Website Awards was established in 2000 to showcases the latest and greatest of
cutting edge website design. They showcase a site everyday, every month and one a year to take it all.
The great moderators at Boing Boing always bring inspiring, interesting pieces from all over the Web to
their blog everyday.
Art21 Blog is from the producers of the amazing PBS video series, founded in 1997 with the mission to
increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite discussion, and inspire creative thinking by using
diverse media to present contemporary artists at work and in their own words.
Creative Review is a monthly magazine for visual communication with an aim to inspire, inform and stimulate debate among their readers in graphic design, advertising, digital media, illustration, photography and all other fields of visual communication worldwide. They have a great blog also.
HOW magazine has a goal of helping designers, whether that designer is the little guy or the top dogs. The insight into the creative whys and hows behind specific projects is a huge resource to any creative looking for more knowledge and tons of inspiration. Check out this Behind the Design: Restaurant Identity article below.
Communication Arts is an old school mag with lots of clout and amazing work. This magazine is the premier source of inspiration for everyone involved in visual communication.
Juxtapoz Arts & Culture magazine was created in 1994 to both help define and celebrate urban contemporary art. The website has tons of interviews and useful information about upcoming shows in major cities around the world. Currently it has the largest circulation of any art magazine in the United States and this is for a good reason- it inspires!
I am always inspired by book covers. They need to be designed so that they will catch a potential reader’s eye, so Darwin’s theory holds true to book cover design also. I check out this blog Judge A Book… for some inspiring compositions, use of typography and imagery. Smashing Magazine has a cool post on Excellent book covers and paperbacks.
Design books that cover niche fields and genres are always great to have on the shelf; being able to pull one down and flip through some pages of visual inspiration can sometimes become that push you needed to catch an idea.
Edward Tufte’s books are some that inspire my work. The books alone are beautiful works in and of themselves. Envisioning Information is one that I revisit again and again. The book shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information.
Other times it is the words that inspire. David Lynch’s ‘Catching the Big Fish’ goes through his creative process in some of his films and early years as well as other areas of life and meditation. Hearing another creative individual’s stories and words on how they do things can become stepping stones to new avenues for your own creativity.
Nature did it first. The beautiful color combinations and hues that make up the the flora and fauna can inspire new direction in color palette in any design project. Simply taking a walk outside with an open mind and eyes can bring inspiration back to the drawing table. Scientists, architects and engineers take inspiration from nature all the time. And some scientists discover art through their scientific disciplines.
Colourlovers has some great posts about being inspired by nature. Check out this beautiful post on Color In Nature: Beetles; the palettes created as well as the patterns are sure to inspire.
Opacity.us has an extensive collection of urban ruins from all over the world.
Museums, Galleries and Culture
By looking through the halls of the history of art in a museum or contemporary gallery, we can gain understanding and new insights into our own design challenges. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one that I visit a lot here in New York; you can subscribe to the Artwork of the Day feed for some daily inspiration.
For a great site that has some listings of cultural events, check out Flavorpill. They share the most exciting and worthwhile events happening in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and London — with more cities on the way.
Dreams can be great sources of inspiration and can take our minds to new places and possibilities uninhibited by the conventions of our waking lives, which can inspire new thinking. Sometimes a problem can be worked out in the subconscious over night in a dream and then thought of in a new light when working on it again.
What inspires you in your field?