You can’t really quantify creativity or what causes it. It is one of the most mysterious aspects of the human experience, and yet we get creative inspiration everyday from a variety of sources without even knowing it. Some creatives might just come across a beautiful bird and get inspiration for what color theme they’ll use in their artwork. Some might read a poem which inspires their next sketch.

Thus, there are limitless ways creatives can get inspiration for their work. However, as a creative who depends on creativity to make a living, it’s important to identify sources of constant inspiration. Sources of inspiration which will always light the flame of creativity.

find inspiration creativity

illustration by Gal Shir

1. Interior Design

Creatives in the field of design might overlook architecture and interiors as a source of design inspiration, but that would be an enormous oversight. Creative inspiration can come from anything, and architecture, being a product of careful design, can certainly be a source for it.

You can scour the internet for landmarks and buildings whose design has stood the test of time and are still looked at as objects of admiration. The way these buildings are colored and blend into their surroundings can certainly serve as fuel for design inspiration.

In the same way, interiors can also serve the same purpose. Go into a hip cafe and you’ll be greeted with colors, shapes and designs that are extremely pleasing to look at. Look inside a modern Swedish home and you’ll see practicality that follows minimalist design.

For interior designers specifically, check out this review of poketo's creative spaces by FreshBooks.

2. Book Cover Archive

If you’re designing the cover of an ebook and are looking for inspiration, the Book Cover Archive will almost certainly provide just what you’re looking for. Book covers have to be attention-grabbing for casual onlookers, so you know serious effort has been put behind the great ones.

Book Cover Archives offers a curated selection of book cover designs to inspire book cover designers. If you like a particular design, you can look at the designer’s portfolio to learn more about their work and how they approach book cover design.

3. Music

How exactly can music influence an artist’s work? Well firstly, it can serve as the soundtrack to their workspace, influencing the mood and ambiance and the mindset the artist is in when creating designs. Believe it or not, music can have a profound effect on the outcome of any sort of creative effort.

Another way that music can influence designers is in the way it’s packaged. We’re talking about album art, performances, musician’s clothing, posters and other imagery. Take a look at any contemporary musician and you’ll see they’ve incorporated cutting edge fashion trends and design into their persona and personal brand. There’s no reason you can’t take some inspiration from that and inculcate the same for yourself.

4. Print Ads

Some designers might look at print ads with dismay, thinking their only purpose is to get people to buy things. However, it must be realized that the best print ads are created by the best designers, since ad placements are expensive and businesses want maximum attention for the dollars they spend.

You might not agree with an ad’s messaging or intentions, but it would be wrong to ignore it from a design perspective.

5. Nature

Nature is not only a rich source of creative inspiration, but it also serves as a source of mental relaxation. By getting away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, we become grounded and gain an appreciation for the simpler things in life.

Even going for a walk in the park can reinvigorate our minds and provide fuel for creativity.

6. Art

Creatives don’t have to go very far for inspiration, because they just have to look at what fellow artists, designers, musicians or creatives of any kind are making. A solid understanding and appreciation of art is of course necessary to take inspiration from it.

Throughout history, artists have advanced the creative movement by taking inspiration from each other’s work and making each successive art piece a little bit better. If you’re experiencing a mental block but have a deadline to meet, simply look at the work of other creatives and they approached the kind of work you’re doing.

In art, you never have to reinvent the wheel. You simply look at how others are making wheels, and then improve on that process to make something even better.

7. Magazines

For graphic designers, magazine covers can serve as a source of endless inspiration, especially if you look at magazines that feature modern art. Magazines serve much the same purpose as books for creative inspiration, the difference being you can find weekly and even daily magazines that will provide you with cutting edge ideas for your creative work.

8. Personal Experience

Nothing has a more profound effect on a creative’s work than their own personal experiences. Great musicians have turned their sorrows and joys into songs that have been etched permanently into the stones of history.

Working by rules and design principles can certainly produce aesthetically pleasing results, but embellishing art with personal experiences can make it truly unique. And after all, having art that’s unique is perhaps the biggest accomplishment for a creative.

9. Films

Films are considered by many to be the defining art form of the twentieth century. The greatest films often combine stunning cinematography, brilliant writing and captivating acting to achieve the status of being masterpieces.

Creatives can take a lot of cues from films, from the way soundtracks are used to create atmosphere, to the way colors are used to depict a mood. There’s simply too much to digest in a single film if you begin to analyze it from a creative perspective.

10. Online Communities

The internet has made physical distances disappear, so creatives can reach for the opinions and ideas of others like them no matter where they are. What’s more, the differences in culture, upbringing can really have an interesting effect on the creative discussion, and the way it influences the work of creatives.

11. Foreign Cultures

Experiencing a completely foreign culture can have a profound effect on our minds. For one, it shows us how differently people live to achieve goals that seem so similar to ours. They might have a different diet, a different way of communicating, showing affection and so on. This is highly invigorating to get your creative juices flowing.

And let’s not forget that you’ll find great design inspiration within cultures. So go to a foreign country and be prepared to be absolutely overflowing with creative ideas!


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