Death or Design: 8 Places to Get Inspired
Inspiration is a fickle mistress. We never know when she will decide to grace us with her creative blessings. No matter what your profession—author, artist, physicist, dog trainer—there are bound to be unfortunate lulls in your creativity. Visit one of these 8 places to rediscover your inner design muse.
English writer Stephen Fry once said, “An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.” Yes, libraries are treasure troves full of words written by thousands of individuals throughout history who found their divine stroke of inspiration. Read books about famous designers, architects, artists—actually, don’t just limit it to the visual folks. Read books about history, about love, and about science. If you read between the lines, you’ll realize every great idea in history was born through some innate, primal force deep within the human psyche. If you approach with an open heart, you will discover countless ways to mix and blend the very elements and archetypes of the universe.
You have no excuse not to enjoy nature. Even if you live in the deepest urban landscape, you can travel a short distance in any direction and be met with quivering forests, boundless seas, infinite deserts, or humbling mountains. Impressionist legend Claude Monet even developed a whole art style devoted to scenes inspired and created by artists exploring the outdoors.
Beauty is not always what it seems. Travelling to the slums, ghetto, projects, or any similarly low-income urban area provides an amazingly intimate experience. Run-down buildings often challenge notions we have of fully functioning society, and can make you think critically of what is and isn’t “good.”
Mathematically Inspired Places
Artists and designers have contemplated the correlation between mathematics and aesthetic beauty for thousands of years. They felt that the profound truths of reality could be unfolded through the awe-inspiring union of science and art. Some artists, such as Leonardo da Vinici and Piero della Francesca, made a name for themselves as both great mathematicians as well as painters.
Places of Worship
Devout or agnostic, it is difficult to deny the grandeur of religiously-inspired design. Mosques, temples, and churches are all edifices built to praise and worship a given culture’s ideal of perfection and beauty achievable through divinity. If you’re religious, you can draw inspiration from your relationship between you and your deity, but if you’re not, you can simply enjoy the wonderful art.
A Child’s Imagination
If you need a fresh perspective, why not go to someone that hasn’t fully formed one yet? The mind of a child is truly cutting edge in that they’re the most recent humans to be created and are the future’s movers and shakers. Children aren’t weighed down by a life full of stubborn dogma, rituals, and self-loathing. They are your safest bet when it comes to finding an imagination bustling with whimsy and wonder. They’re bound to present art and design to you in ways you may not have previously imagined.
The world wide web offers more than just helpful articles about inspiration and funny cat videos. A huge chunk of everything from human history can be found here. So go to your favorite search engine and type in anything. Whatever you want. It can be as off the wall and zany as you can possibly imagine. You’ll find something that’ll hotwire your creative circuits, guaranteed. Any artist or designer worth their salt will have their own website where you can peruse tons of great graphic ideas others have had.
Exploring your own subconscious can reveal startling new ideas, breathtaking revelations, and life-changing epiphanies. Meditation can provide focus, clarity, and more to your future thought-processes. You might also want to consider sensory-deprivation exercises as well. Try taking a nap while wearing a blindfold and noise-cancelling headphones for some truly psychedelic inner experiences. Or if you want to kill two birds with one stone, take some melatonin supplements before bed—you’ll have intense, vivid dreams while getting a healthy night’s rest (just don’t mix it with alcohol).
Getting over a creative slump can be difficult. But fortunately for you, the world is a beautiful place full of exciting and innovative ideas that’ll surely help you find some of your own. And always keep an open mind. You can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.