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11 Ways to Get Inspired - See What Best Designers Do
Inspiration is the fuel for our designer's minds and bodies - although some would say it actually is coffee :) If our inspiration stream dries out, things are slowing down, we don't know how to start, how to continue and how to finish the tasks we are working on. Our mind gets distracted very fast and we just can not focus on what is needed. Or we are just trying to put the colors, shapes and letters to the right place and just feel that it doesn't feel the right way.
So what can we do? We always have two choices - to give up, or not to give up and get inspired. I want to share with you a way how I get inspired when my inspiration stream feels dried. And as a bonus, on the end of this article you will find out, what some of the best designers do to get inspired.
Watch some inspirational movies, trailers, short videos. Watch some awesome Typography motion videos
- tip: Youtube search for typography
- tip: 16 Awesome And Inspiring Videos
- tip: Facing the Giants - IMDB
- tip: The Pursuit of Happyness - IMDB
- tip: Radio - IMDB
- tip: Dangerous Minds - IMDB
- tip: Life Is Beautiful - IMDB
- tip: October Sky - IMDB
Read at least one of many great design/development books. Read biography of inspiring people who changed their world and stories of successful businesses
- tip: 40+ Books For Professional Design & Development
- tip: The Google Story
- tip: Inside Steve's Brain
- tip: Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days
Get inspired by reading some great design related blogs. You will find many great design resources, reviews, showcases of great designs, design tutorials and much more.
- tip: 50 webdesign blogs with highest Google PR
- tip: 250+ RSS Feeds For Every Graphic, Web Designers And Bloggers To Subscribe To
- tip: How to Spot Quality within Web Design: Examples & Tips
Nature is amazingly beautiful. I was on holiday in Switzerland recently, and seeing the nature there was one of the most beautiful views I ever seen. It was amazing to see all the mountains and colors from the plane. Go to mountains or beach, look at the flowers, watch the animals and bugs and you will get inspired. You will (almost) never go wrong with a color scheme created from nature. Take a look at some inspiring color schemes created from nature.
- tip: Colorful Beauty in Nature: Butterflies
- tip: Natural Selections: Colors Found in Nature and Interface Design
- tip: Color Scheme Inspiration – Cliffs and Islands
- tip: Natural Colors from Photographs
Go to gallery or a museum and see the art of great artists, that inspired people for hundreds of years. Learn about their background, find out more about the artist. Study their techniques. Try to feel the atmosphere of the paintings.
CSS showcase galleries are always a great source of inspiration. Look at the best designs from all around the globe, see the work of world's best designers and get inspired
- tip: Most Useful CSS Galleries Sorted by Google PR
- tip: CMS Showcase Galleries
- tip: Don’t Copy a Design — Steal It
Sleep, go out for a walk, watch people in the streets, get some fresh air, play some sport. Seriously, tired body and tired mind is like a barrier for your inspiration stream. Staying awake till 4am, trying to make that design, then sleeping for 3 hrs and getting back to your desk will not make it. Also make sure you drink enough water every day.
Music is powerful. It can get you in the right mood. As a musician, music plays important role in my life. I love listening to a smooth jazz or funky-drum'n'base when designing. It helps me to get away from the world around me and to focus on the task.
- tip: Musicovery - online mood radio
For thousands artists, musicians, writers scientists and designers, God and their faith has been the source of Inspiration. If you are a christian, you belive that God, as the creator of the entire universe is the ultimate source of inspiration. His unconditional love is the core motivation for millions of people around the globe.
Learn from the Rockstars
I have asked few designers the same question: "What inspires you, where do you find inspiration?" See what their answers looked like:
Calvin Lee @Mayhemstudios - "I look at other great designers work. Also get inspired by life, friends & family. Most of my inspiration comes from non-design activities"
Misty Belardo @mistygirlph - "When writing > its music that inspires me. Gets me in the zone, helps clear my mind. In designing > I just let it flow I have my sketchpad and pencil and just draw away and see where it takes me"
Cheth @cheth - "I try to find inspiration in whatever i see, be it a tv commercial, or something in my office, or just watching others work and later i sketch it down for design inspiration :) the easiest and effective way for designers. Also music - it is the best inspiration to keep you creative"
Chris Spooner @chrisspooner - "I'm often inspired after a good session of browsing through my RSS feeds, there's stacks of awesome work and useful content"
Brian K. McDaniel @bkmacdaddy - "Music is ALWAYS big for me. I am always looking at showcases & roundups to get ideas also. I usually try to look at designs that are completely outside the genre of what I'm going to create, rather than the same style. I always try to nudge the client outside of their respective box. Nature, interior design, artwork - all these inspire me."
April @OneLuvGurl - "As a fan of minimalism, I find myself inspired by the everyday simple things that we tend to overlook. A small flower in a patch of weeds, a song stripped bare so one focuses on the words and emotion. I believe that too much distracts and takes away from the message in whatever you do. If you can find beauty in simplicity, that in itself is inspiring."
Brandon Cox @brandonacox: "I'm inspired by the 175 feeds I read, by my daughter's crayon art, and by certain motivating Scriptures. My big 3."
Richard Darell @minervity - "Well, as weird as it may seem I actually get all my inspiration from the kind of impact the current project will have on my knowledge in specific areas. As a strive to always become a better designer / developer I always set high expectations on my work. And by always trying to learn I can make sure that my work always leave my hands without me feeling like I haven't done my very best. However, inspiration for also comes from situations in life where I have felt calm and at piece. Being a freelance designer / developer is always stressful so any time I find myself in a relaxed situation I always get hugely inspired for some reason. It almost always leads to some sort of creative output. :) I have a specific route that I walk when I am stressed to get myself to sort it out. It's a residential area by a lake that is one of Swedens most beautiful residential area and I always take a long walk by the water when things bubble up to become too stressful. :)"
Grace Smith @gracesmith - "It’s hard to pinpoint one exact thing that inspires me, it’s a combination of my whole environment as well as the people around me. I try not to rely too much on online resources for inspiration, as it's too easy to 'recycle' ideas this way. I should mention that I’m hugely into photography at the moment, having just purchased my first DSLR recently and find nature to be truly inspiring."