How I Found Inspiration
Staying inspired is essential to the quality of my work. When I feel my best, my efficiency is in it’s prime, my “design intuition” is heightened, and I’m armed with confidence. It’s as though I’m wearing a helmet and a cape, ready to take any design project head-on. The questions I need answered from my clients flow smoothly in conversation, and we both leave meetings with excitement and anticipation for the next set of proofs. When I’m inspired, the whole project goes better, and honestly, the difference in my work is noticeable. I get WAY more compliments on the work I’ve done when I’m in a good “head space,” than when I’m stressed and desperate to finish.
The feeling of inspiration and motivation can come on as strong as a sudden itch- out of nowhere. I just CRAVE the need to put my ideas down and draw up a plan. But there are also times I’m not that lucky and those feelings take more work to find, sometimes it from personal pep talks. I have to sit and remind myself of all the great things I’ve done previously, the excitement from my clients, the compliments from strangers, and even sometimes I have to dig as deep as reminding myself I went to school for 6 years to be prepared for this. I am ready, I’ve been ready, and this ability to design? It’s part of who I am. I’m so lucky to have such a tangible talent that can benefit so many.
Once that “design tingle” leaves, it can take days, weeks, and even months to get it back. Each and every morning I pour myself a cup of coffee, and I stare off, concentrating, meditating, and trying to come up with a fresh idea that gives me the urge to make something great. Some days, instead of trying to figure out how to get the motivation, I simply just wonder where it went. The most common reasons for inspiration depletion are fatigue, or conflict of perceived resolution. I often put my heart and soul into a project and in the end sometimes it isn’t exactly what the client had cooked up in their head. The need to compromise (or sometimes the last minute need to add content which throws the WHOLE design off) can leave me feeling defeated, exhausted, or simply burnt out.
Almost every weekend I have a Facebook event saved that I intend to go to. Whether its a farmers market, a craft fair, or a festival, I always have great intentions. And you know what happens? Nothing. I usually convince myself I’m “too tired” or that I need to go grocery shopping, and let that opportunity of networking slip right by.
Last weekend, we had a house guest, and out of the idea of simply trying to keep her entertained, we went to 720 Market. 720 is a small market/fair of local art, food, pantry goods, a few plants, and usually a brewery or two.
I ended up feeling so inspired when I left, all due to the vendors. Regardless of formal education, day job, and their personal life, they found the time and confidence to sit in a booth. Within that booth, so much happens. They receive compliments and make sales, but they also watch people walk past their booth with no interest. They exposed their talents and hard work, all while risking an ego and a weekend. They put themselves out there after investing financially, mentally, and physically.
As much as I can say “I can make that” or “I could do that”… I haven’t. And most of the time, I probably won’t. But seeing people so much confidence and bravery into exposing a hobby, leaves me feeling proud of them. They are the ones who I want to be. They are the art heroes, setting standards and reminding the rest of us that we have something to offer to the world. And no matter how tired I feel, or how hard the imposter syndrome may set in, I always have something to offer (and so do you!). Keeping great ideas bottled up in our head would be nothing less than limiting ourselves and dare I say… selfish? The world needs us. It needs color, diversity, textures, talents, community, and new flavors.