We’ve all been there; staring at a blank page or screen. The ticking of the clock counting down the minutes to the deadline; even if you can’t hear the tick-tock…you can feel the time passing.
Must. Write. Blog.
It all seemed so easy and even fun six or seven months ago, when you were planning how every month you’d write an article for your website. You might even have made a list of the topics you would cover, and for the first two or three months it was indeed easy(ish). The fourth month was a little bit of a struggle to get it done. The fifth month just sort of slipped by and somehow the article was never quite completed or posted. And now here we are at the six month mark, and the deadline (once again) is looming.
The intent of this post is not to convince you of the importance of keeping fresh content on your website and social media. We KNOW that. Nor will this post shame you for not taking magazine-worthy photos at artsy angles with moody filters. Nope. I am just going to share with you the list of places I find inspiration. Because of my job, I am CONSTANTLY needing inspiration. I have no choice but to keep my eyes, ears and mind open and recording life while I live it. In other words, I have to pay attention to the world around me. Did you know that one of the most important tools a creative person has is curiosity? I have found that sometimes a rabbit hole can lead to an unexpected answer to a question I won’t even ask for another week or so. How’s that for clarity?
Here are some of the richest sources of inspiration for me:
- Music – all kinds. Sometimes it’s the lyrics, sometimes it is the melody and sometimes it is what the music makes me feel.
- Art – all kinds. Especially when I can take the time to look at the elements of it…the colors, textures, relationship between the things I see on the canvas, the tone, the composition. Knowing something about the artist and the circumstances surrounding the piece can be very enlightening. Making art is all about problem solving and communication. If I can see how someone creatively handled that, it inspires me to look at my challenge differently.
- Nature – smells, sounds, textures, colors…such amazing variety is found just in my own yard. Look closely at things…you won’t find better metaphors for just about any situation. I take photos ALL the time of things that get my attention; tree bark, rocks, water, leaves. Just spending a few minutes outside can change my perspective on the whole world.
- Old things; old farms, old buildings, old books. I like to change my view from seeing all today’s stuff and look at some weathered things. How was life lived before our time? How were ideas communicated? What was our language like before we had to keep things short and to the point.
- New things; new developments around our city, new architecture, new displays in stores, new magazines, new ways of using old things.
- I make art journals. They are ways of combining ideas and images without the pressure of having them be seen by anyone else. I can try new things, old things, copy things and make as many mistakes as I want. From these mistakes and attempts, I am always inspired.
The bottom line is that finding inspiration will be different for everyone, but what matters is the looking for it with an open mind. The inspiration you get can help you find a fresh solution to a situation, or a clever design for a creative project, or more interesting text for a brochure – whatever you are working on. And you may just find that in the act of looking for inspiration, your day is enriched, you feel refreshed and you turn your mediocre idea into something remarkable. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt.