February 17, 2010 7

Gaining Inspiration through Everyday Life

By in Design

Being a designer means having to always have inspiration on hand to do great on projects, and to grow and develop as a creative. In the past I’ve written many articles on gaining inspiration in various ways, but many of the methods, while useful, are not always practical to keep up with every day.

For instance, going to a museum can be a great source of inspiration, or seeing something new and out of the ordinary. It is, of course, not practical to go to a museum every day, or to break one’s own routine every day. Sometimes we need to sit back and go with the daily grind, while still having to get our creative work done. In this post we’ll go over a few basic things one can do to keep a clear head, and find everyday inspiration, in an everyday type of lifestyle.

1. Drink Plenty of Water, and Stay Healthy

I, like many other self-employed workers, have a nasty addiction to caffeine. I just can’t start my day without it. Granted that being my weakness, after my one bottle of early-morning Mt. Dew (for others its often coffee, or a double-shot cappuccino), I stick to water, and only water. It can be all too easy to drink too much soda, eat/drink too much sugar, and not enough of anything else. When doing so, halfway through the day I feel fatigued and ready to quit. Of course, this method of living healthy shouldn’t only be limited to freelance designers, but any designer that needs to keep a clear head.

Inspiration comes from a clear and relaxed mind. Exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy. Healthy lifestyles don’t stop there though, to let inspiration in, one also must live healthy in other areas: maintain a healthy work/life balance, social life, clean and functional living/work space, etc.

2. Break Your Routine, Just a Bit

Sometimes it’s essential to just get some work done, rather than go experience something new and exciting. However, sticking to one’s own routine completely from the time one wakes up and until one falls asleep is just a recipe for inspiration and motivation disaster.

Eat something different for breakfast, go for a jog before turning on the computer, or watch a new TV show that you’ve never seen before, when it’s time to relax. Just small changes like this can keep a mind from tuning out. From this, the mind can become more activated, and one can begin to think actively of sources of inspiration. On a jog? Take inspiration from nature. A new TV show? Take inspiration from the plot, culture, and history presented.

3. Read

Read a magazine, a book, or a new blog post. I stress getting away from the computer as much as possible during down-time, but sometimes blog posts or other online content is necessary for inspiration as well. By getting away from ‘normal work’ and just learning something new via reading about it, one can gain inspiration.

It need not be a design-related read either. A casual magazine, book, or post of any of one’s other interests is a great way to bring other areas of one’s personality into their design work. One can think of finding inspiration in these sources actively (via looking at layouts, gaining ideas from article topics, or examining designs within the text), or inactively (enjoying the read, learning something new, developing ideas from one’s own thoughts on the matter).

How Do You Find Everyday Inspiration?

What are some methods you use to find inspiration? Any tips on lifestyle design that help, or any sources you are particularly fond of when in need of finding inspiration actively?

About: Kayla Knight:
Hello, my name is Kayla Knight, and I am a web designer and developer based in Iowa, Usa. I focus on user-centric, beautiful, simple, and functional web design. You can check out my portfolio here: KaylaKnight.com.

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7 Responses to “Gaining Inspiration through Everyday Life”

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