As a designer, you have many options when it comes to updating your technical skills. There are books you can read, new apps and utilities that you can master, and industry publications where you can learn the latest technical methods. If you want something more formal, you can enroll in one of many courses that are likely available at your local college. You also have the option of online education, and much of that is free. Unfortunately, when it comes to creative inspiration, things can become a bit more difficult. No school has a program for inspiring designers and boosting their creativity. Instead, you are mostly on your own to find sources of inspiration. That is a difficult task, but it is not impossible. Keep reading and check out these 5 tips for finding awesome design inspiration.
1. Check Out The Awwwards Website
This website highlights web designers, websites, and agencies that are doing exciting things in the world of design. It is also chock full of articles on design practices, controversies, techniques, and history. This is a great resource for both inspiration and education. Of course, if you do check them out, do not be a passive consumer. Join the community and participate in debates and conversations all centered around the field of design. You might not agree with every award or criticism that is doled out by the folks at Awwwards, but you will certainly find lots of interesting stuff here.
2. Don’t Discount Pinterest as a Source of Inspiration
If you think that Pinterest is a place for crafters, DIY project enthusiasts, home cooks, and searchers of inspirational quotes, it is time to pay this platform a second visit. Today, many artists and designers are using Pinterest as a place to share design ideas, and to show off their completed projects. If you do a bit of searching, you might find that the designers and agencies you admire most are quite active on this platform. You might find lots of inspiration by looking through the pins they have shared.
3. Spend Time in Your Local Art District, Flea Markets And Farmers Markets
Not all design inspiration needs to come in electronic form. In fact, not all inspiration needs to come directly from other web or graphic designers. Chances are there are plenty of sources of inspiration right in your local area. Many communities have areas that are home to museums, galleries, shops, theaters, and other places that are home to artists, designers, and other creative types. In your area, this might be an entire neighborhood or simply a row or street. Flea markets and farmers markets are two other places where you can find inspiration. Yes, farmers markets! In addition to people selling fruits and vegetables, it is quite common for artists and craftspeople to rent booths to sell and display their creations.
4. Redecorate a Space in Your Home or Office
When you take on a redecorating project, you open yourself up to many opportunities for inspiration. First, selecting the colors, textures, and patterns of your new furniture and fixtures, is a great way to get new ideas for your own design projects. You will also get see what designers in other niches are up to. Finally, the tactile experience of moving, installing, arranging, and rearranging creates a new and different creative experience. In fact, you will be using parts of your brain that you do not use in web design and forming new mental and emotional connections. Even if you do not have funds for a full redecorating effort, simply adding some new accessories or a fresh coat of paint can have a big impact. Here is one more bonus: You will have newly decorated and inspirational space to live in or work.
5. Join an Online Community of Designers
Perhaps the best source of information is other designers. If you do a bit of searching, you will find that there are wide varieties of online communities where designers meet to discuss ideas, techniques, predictions for the future, and most importantly their passions. Better yet, members of these communities are usually happy to help designers who are stuck in a creative rut or who are interested in applying new techniques. For example, if you are interested in typography, there are multiple communities of people who are passionate about custom fonts, retro fonts, penmanship, and other interesting topics related to this discipline.
Inspiration is all around you, both online and in real life. As long as you are open minded and willing to look for it, you will find it. Remember that the 5 tips listed above are just the beginning. Start with these, and then try to discover other sources of design inspiration in your world. You will be pleasantly surprised at the impact this will have on your creations.