Adam Beck

the grand inspiration aggregation

I want to share a few sources that I reach out to when looking for creative inspiration.

Inspiration hits us all in different ways and from different sources. Perhaps you find something on Pinterest and, before you can stop yourself, you’ve transformed your kitchen cabinets into utopian examples of order and efficiency. Maybe an advertisement on your evening commute motivates you to join a weekend rowing team. There’s a chance that, while assisting with a friend’s project, you discover a new way of doing things that you’ll be able to apply to your own work.

finding inspiration is key to being successful and happy, both at work and at home

However, it’s not always easy. When I first started working in the design industry, I had a love/hate relationship with the act of finding inspiration. I had it in my head that I had to be 100% original in order to create compelling work. For whatever reason, this idea stuck and I’d often find that I’d avoid exposing myself to other peoples’ work as much as possible.

I wouldn’t say that it’s always a bad idea to block outside influences — many authors, for example, will steer clear of certain materials while writing to avoid affecting their own style — but I definitely feel that it’s a mistake to do so on an ongoing basis.

Due to stubbornness, I often found myself creatively blocked. I managed, but not without a great deal of stress and anxiety. What I didn’t realise at the time was that these outside influences really do fuel your own work. If you want to be creative, it’s important to expose yourself to creative facets. Surround yourself with things that you enjoy, like to look at, and are impressed with.

while you’re at it, feel free to imitate

Imitation does not equal plagiarism and can actually help to hone your skills. Afterall, mimicking something you like is essentially the same as working through a tutorial, except that you create your own method rather than follow a guide. Just … don’t then try to pass off said copy as an original work.

Vintage Typography Samples

If you like a particular style of typography, why not try to incorporate aspects of that into a project of your own? It’s fantastic practice. This is also how styles trend. Love it or hate it, there’s a reason why the flat style of UIs — popularised by Google’s Material design — is seeing a boost in popularity at the moment.

Material by Google

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to see the error of my ways and revise my thinking. I still do find myself blocked, on occasion, but it’s a much less stressful experience, and much easier to overcome. Often all it takes is a quick browse through several of my favourite resources, taking note of how other designers handled similar problems.

without further ado, following are a few creative sites that I like to visit for my own inspiration

Abduzeedo

Abduzeedo

Design Milk

Design Milk

Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine

Tuts+

TUTS+

Behance

OMG Posters!

OMG! Posters

If you have thoughts on any of the sites of listed, or there are others that you would highly recommend, please let us know in the comments.

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