Freelance Files :: 5 tips to Stay Inspired

As a designer (or any creative), one of the most important attributes for successful work is inspiration. So how do you avoid that inspiration drying up?  For me, staying inspired also helps me to stay motivated in my work. There is nothing more disheartening than staring at a blank screen or notebook for hours so here are some tips to help avoid that happening. 

1 :: Change your scenery 

It might be as simple as working from a coffee shop for an afternoon, or it could be a trip to that city you have always wanted to visit. Explore, adventure, soak up your surroundings. Take time to notice what is going on around you. Sometimes it's not always possible for me to get away for a weekend or afternoon so I take an hour to walk the dog - just getting outside into nature can help me boost my creative juices. 

2 :: Follow those you admire

Other designers, creatives, photographers, design studios. Read their blogs, follow them on social media and sites like Dribbble or Behance. Whats inspires you about their work? Do they use a technique you could try in your project, or a colour palette you hadn't considered? Obviously, it's not cool to copy the work of others but sometimes immersing yourself in the work of likeminded people can help ignite a spark of inspiration.

3 :: Gather inspiration 

I always try to carry my camera (usually my iPhone) and a notebook with me at all times, as you never know when inspiration might strike. I also collect clippings from magazines, brochures, flyers that I keep in a binder. These days it's super easy to collect inspiring images using sites like Pinterest or Dragdis. When I find myself stuck on a project, these curated collections will be my first port of call and often flicking through images I love will help me to move forward. 

4 :: DON'T PANIC

Sure, you've got a deadline to work to and a final design to create but slowing down and taking one step at a time helps avoid getting bogged down with stress and frustration. Focus on one day at a time and keep moving forward. Take a break if you need to, and come back to things with a fresh perspective. 

5 :: Try a different creative activity

When I find myself lacking inspiration, it can help to do something creative that is unrelated to the project I am working on. For instance, writing or art journalling, cooking a new recipe, taking a 'photo walk' or learning to knit help me to stay creative whilst allowing me a break from trying to figure out the next move on my project. 

I hope these tips are helpful, if you have a tip to share leave a comment below!