Creative types know that inspiration is an important part of the creative process. As a writer, I’m always aware of my levels of inspiration, so it’s difficult for me, sometimes, when I lose my inspiration. My friends who are involved in the visual arts tell me the same thing!

In talking with them, I’ve learned that they have developed several coping mechanisms to help them recapture their inspiration, much like I’ve done as a writer. I’ve gathered some of my favorite tips from them and listed them here. Hopefully they’ll be of some use to other designers!


Take Lots of Photographs

As a designer, the visual image is very important to you, so it’s a good idea to build a reference folder of images that you love looking at. You never know how or when one of these images might work its way into a design project that you’re trying to finish. And when you’re ideas dry up, you can always flip through this folder of neat images to see if one catches your eye and inspires you on another project.


Read Design Blogs

It also makes sense that designers would want to keep track of what other designers are doing. After all, one of the great ways to get better as a designer is to find designers who are doing amazing things and then try to learn from them. Some of my favorite design-related sites include the

NotCot network and Core77, both of which link to all manner of interesting design news and trends in all areas of the field.


Take Up A Creative Hobby

I think having another creative outlet is very important to creative types, especially because this second outlet can be a sort of no-pressure hobby. If you design (or write) for a living, then much of that creativity is bound up in work-related situations. It makes sense, then, to keep your creativity healthy by using it in non-important activities. Try to take up classical guitar. Or work on a novel or a series of paintings. As long as you’re finding new ways to be creative, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by your work life.


Collaborate with Others

Another way to get some great inspiration is to work closely with another designer. Of course, you have to be willing to give up some creative control here and trust your collaborator, but once you get by that, you may just find that collaborating with another designer could really result in some intricate and beautiful projects. As a writer, I’ve found that this method is really rewarding, and I think, if done well, it can be just has helpful for designers.

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