A couple of months ago, I found myself feeling stuck. I needed someone or something to dig me out of my creative rut and to shut down the little voice in my head that was saying, “Nope, not today, Creativity!” So, I began a personal quest to re-ignite my creative mojo.
First, I knew that I needed to pause and take some time to step away from my daily projects. If not, I felt like I was just going through the motions and my work would get the short end of the stick. After sharing my stuck-ness with my manager, she encouraged me to spend some time each week gathering ideas and pieces of creative that I think are cool. So, I did just that.
Every Friday morning, I spend an hour (sometimes two) doing what I like to call “Brilliant Inspo” where I take to the interweb to gather cool ideas and admire badass designers. My creative passion is typography and hand lettering so I typically start there. I explore Pinterest, Dribbble and multiple social media accounts to find pieces that make me say “Holy moly, that’s amazing!”
Next, I look for inspiration that relates to my daily work—from PowerPoint to environmental branding and everything in between. If I have a specific project in mind, I typically like to gather ideas on a Pinterest board or a folder on my desktop. When I first began, I created a #brilliantinspo Slack channel so that I could share my ideas, visions and Pinterest boards with the team and vice versa. My hope is that it becomes a catalog of ideas that anyone can use when they need a little creative oomph (it’s win-win!).
Guess what? By intentionally setting aside time to invite in creativity, I’ve taken new design risks, brought new creativity into my work and generally been happier. You’ve heard it before but it bears repeating: everyone is creative. Whether you’re writing an Employee Value Proposition or designing an infographic for a financial report, creativity is inside you. It’s up to you to let it out.
Here are some of my favorite sites/accounts to follow (AKA to stalk):
For all types of inspiration:
- Dribbble & Behance: These two sites are packed full of amazing work from fantastic designers. From logos to brochures, I promise you’ll be able to find some really creative inspiration for your next project.
- Pinterest: I especially find Pinterest helpful for identifying cool environmental branding, package design or color scheme ideas. Plus, it’s easy to organize your ideas and to share them. Check out our Brilliant Inspo boards.
- AdAge: I realize this is “technically” in the world of Advertising, but they often post articles about design trends, creative ad campaigns and news that can be translated into design for any industry.
For Typography/HandLetting/Painting Inspiration:
- @MartinaFlor: Her hand lettering work is droolworthy. If you’re interested in learning more about hand lettering, check out her book.
- @PandrDesignco: It’s one of my dreams to design a mural like these women!
- @SallyKingBenedict: She is my idol, my Picasso, and my queen. Her abstract use of shapes and bright colors remind me that even the simplest forms can be combined to create something unique and beautiful.
- @ClaireBStuart or @Strokesandscribbles: (Queue shameless plug) In all seriousness, I try to share creative ideas on my Twitter account and create passion projects on my Instagram account. I’d love for you to share what keeps you creatively engaged!
For Presentation/Branding/Environmental Design:
- @BrightCarbon: I attended the CreativePRO CLICK! Conference a couple of weeks ago that included a presenter from Bright Carbon. I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much about PowerPoint as I did from their presentation alone. They are constantly posting helpful tips, tricks and PowerPoint hacks.
- @HyperAkt: This shop’s creativity is off the charts. Check out their website for some really interesting web/UX design.
- Industry Awards: Any industry awards will show you what the best of the best are producing. I often go down rabbit holes and check out the agencies who win and see what else they’re up to. Check out these wayfinding/signage award winner.
Let me end by saying everyone is creative. You are creative. Your mom is creative. Your partner-who-can’t-draw-a-stick-figure-is-creative.