How to Find Inspiration for Design

If you’re into design, you may think the creativity should come to you naturally. However, there may be times when inspiration runs very, very short. How do you find inspiration for design when you’ve run “dry”?

Fortunately, there are lots of places to look that you might not have thought of. Inspiration is all around us! These are just some suggestions; don’t be limited by them, but do use them as a jumping off place.

Let your design imagination run wild!

First things first: Get away from your computer screen!

If you spend most of your time in front of your computer screen working on design, it’s time for a change of scenery. These suggestions will have nothing to do with the online world. But they simply to give you a change of pace. That alone may get inspiration going again! Important: Be sure to take along a notepad and pen on your adventures so that you can jot down ideas you get as they come to you.

  • Visit a museum

Whether it be the Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian, or your local art gallery, get out in the world and take a look at some real displays in a museum. Other artists’ work, such as those in painting and sculpture, may give you some ideas. Visiting a museum and taking a look at artifacts, too, may jog some creativity for design. The idea here is to go completely “fresh” and get away from your normal mode of thinking.

  • Rummage around in Grandma’s attic

With relative regularity, style and design goes “retro,” such that old becomes new again.¬†Taking a look at bygone days will probably jog your creativity so that you can begin to get out of your rut and think of things from a new perspective. Talking with older relatives about days past or taking a look at old photo albums can be other ways to see things from a completely different perspective.

  • Get out in nature

If you’ve walked past the same “nature scene” day after day after day, such as the same tree or same group of bushes as you go about your day, it’s easy to learn to ignore it and not see it. However, looked at closely, nature is the ultimate designer. Get out in nature and really take a look at the beauty of things in nature. It truly is perfection, and experiencing nature’s sounds, sights and smells by immersing yourself in them can give you inspiration you just can’t get in ordinary ways. I often visit my favorite Cocoa Beach vacation rentals and make it a day trip to find inspiration.

  • Get out in the city

Once you get out and spend some time in nature, spend some time in the city too. Just walk around and take a look at all the sights, sounds and smells — completely different from nature — that exist in your city. Everything counts — the clothing people around you are wearing, the things they’re saying, traffic noises — everything!

  • Visit your local library

The Internet has made it very easy these days to ignore the local library, but this was once the hub of intellectual creativity. Take a day and go visit your local library and spend a few hours just poring through books or magazines that catch your eye. Pictures in magazines, pictures in children’s books, well-written text from an interesting article, even the calligraphy work in an old book — all of these things can jog your imagination and get you refreshed and ready for design work once again.