Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inspiration: 10 Places to Find It, +1

Image Source: Notes on Design

I don't know about you, but it can be super difficult for me to think outside of the box like this poster says. It seems as though it has all been thought of or done before. Like the old saying goes, "there's nothing new under the sun." And while that's true, there are always ways to put a fresh spin on things. That is, if you can think up something fresh in the middle of a creative rut. Whenever I'm feeling uninspired, here are 10 places plus one that I like to go: 

1. Magazines

I love Real Simple and Domino (before it sadly ceased publication). Also, Elle Decor is pretty great for beautiful photographs and design inspiration.


2. Blogs/Websites

There's a zillion out there, too many to name, but I do love Apartment Therapy and Young House Love. Also, Cupcakes and Cashmere is a good one too.

3. Pinterest

I know you're aware of how lost you can get on Pinterest....but my, oh my, what a wonderful world of DIY, fashion, and home decorating inspiration. You'll find so much pinspiration, you might start pinspiring. ;)

4. Window Shopping

In-store or online, window shopping may help you get out of your creative rut. The displays and new seasonal lines may inspire you with a particular color scheme, pattern, or theme. Translate those ideas to whatever project you may be working on.

5. Books

I have several design books laying around that I like to look at for inspiration sometimes. In particular, I love Orla Kiely's Pattern and Undecorate by Christiane Lemieux.

6. The Great Outdoors

Sometimes you just need some fresh air to get a new perspective. Stop what you're doing and go outside for a bit!

Image Source: Me!

7. Etsy

There are so many creative people in this world and I think almost all of them have an Etsy shop. ;) Anyway... the aesthetic of how items are displayed and the pure genius of people's creativity will definitely help you get your creative juices flowing. Whenever I feel like I need a spark, Etsy is one of the first places I go. Both shop owners and handmade buyers really have a pulse on the latest trends and a keen eye for design.

8. Museums

If you're fortunate enough to live near a great museum, take advantage of it. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts here in Nashville is excellent. I've seen a couple exhibits there that were great including Chuck Close and a collection of Impressionists. Go take in some beautiful art and maybe it will inspire your next masterpiece.

9. Coffee shops

Your local coffee shop may give you the spark you need to get creative. Aside from the obvious dose of caffeine, you can do some great people watching. People watching is one of my favorite things to do. Not only is it entertaining, but it can be very inspiring too. I love to look at how people dress, try to figure out what they are working on and why they are there. I like to create background stories for people based on what I think they may do for a living, their hobbies, and of course by what they are drinking. ;) You may see someone carrying something or wearing something that's visually inspiring. You may overhear people talking and be inspired by something they say. Don't be too obvious with your eavesdropping though! You may notice a book someone is reading that ignites an idea. And there's never a lack of hipsters to make fun of. Wait...some may think I am one. Hold on...I need to hide my wayfarers and change out of my plaid shirt. ;)
Image Source: Emily Barrera

10. Instagram

I'm always impressed with what amateurs can do with this little app. I love looking at my friends photos and seeing what they are up to, where they are traveling, and what objects are meaningful enough to them to document through Instagram. If you're in a rut, take a little break and scroll through your Instagram feed to break up the monotony. 

+1. Travel

If you're fortunate enough to travel, I highly encourage it. Unlike anything else, these experiences are so rich and live on in your mind. They can provide inspiration to you ten, even twenty years down the road. I've documented a few of my travels from last year here on the blog that you can take a look at. They are some of my best memories and I hope to be able to continue to travel throughout my lifetime. Even if you can't hop a flight to Paris, day-trips in the car can be just as exciting and may do the trick to get your creativity flowing again.

Here's to inspired living!