As much as we’d all like to think it, you can’t just pull creativity out of your proverbial. It has to come from somewhere, and you have to be inspired by something. And your surroundings are often the best place to start.
That being said, I’m a graphic designer working outside of the cultural hub of London; I must be crazy, right? Well, in some instances I am (but that’s another blog post entirely).
London is a creative gold mine. I could be strolling down a road, take a turn and be greeted with a wall of art, or a beautiful brass knocker, a 3-month old gig poster that’s aged better than most wines, or a hand-written sign for an independent shop. There’s no denying that London is a place to get your creative juices flowing; that’s why I try and visit it as much as possible.
Even if I’m just going to catch up with friends at a nice restaurant or play darts at Flight Club, there are still beautiful design touches that you can’t help but appreciate and admire. And it’s not just London; there are plethora of cities across the UK, and world, which visually stimulate me. The key is to keep your head up and notice what’s going on around you.
But enough about London. There are so many more arteries that feed my creative heart.
People who know me know I went travelling (and won’t shut up about it). Every place gave me memories and stories to tell, but they also gave me a wealth of inspiration to draw on. When I first got back from globetrotting, my designs were fresh, unique and I was pushing all the right buttons. I felt like I could do no wrong. Absorbing all these new cultures had clearly impacted my understanding and appreciation of my work. I was on a design high.
But, alas, I can’t just drop everything, take 7 months off and swan back into the office whenever I feel I’m running dry on inspiration. So, how do I inspire myself daily?
Ok, I know it sounds so cliché, but inspiration can come from anywhere. It really can. For me, it could be checking out the latest design magazines, reading new books, exploring new blogs, listening to design podcasts, visiting exhibitions and, maybe most importantly, working with like-minded, passionate creative individuals.
People inspire people. At work, we can all be beavering away on completely different projects and completely different brands, but there could be one little detail in someone else’s work that inspires me and takes my mind somewhere entirely different and takes my design to another level.
We all have different areas of expertise, so work becomes a beautiful melting pot of unique perspectives: the production team inspire me with new print techniques, the digital team inspire me with latest social trends and the managers inspire me to keep pushing. It all feeds into my wealth of inspiration.
One thing which we do at TCC (and do really well) is invite new companies to show us the latest and greatest in technology and techniques to employ in our work. We’re exposed to things we’ve never even heard of and we’re inspired to employ their thinking in ways they’ve never imagined.
The key to being inspired is to constantly stimulate that giant muscle in your head. Try new things, challenge yourself and take time to visually explore what is out there. You never know, it may prove useful in your next job.
Written by Josh Scott
March 6, 2020