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Bolster Your Inspiration Level with These Easy Tips

Like most creative professionals, web designers rely on inspiration to be productive. Yet, sometimes finding the right inspiration for a project can seem like an impossible task.

In this post, I'll provide nine easy tips to help you bolster your creativity. (I've tried to list the less common ways of finding inspiration–the ones that people rarely mention.) If you liked this post, you may also like these additional posts on creativity from Freelance Folder:

9 Sources of Inspiration

Here are nine methods you can use to bolster your inspiration. If your creativity needs a bit of help, try one or more of these ideas:

  1. Pay attention to details. We are surrounded by things that can stimulate creativity, but most people fail to really notice the things around them.  However, I've noticed that most truly creative people are different. Most actually do notice their surroundings. If you're a creative and you're in the habit of ignoring where you are and the things around you, it's time to make a change. Make a conscious decision to take notice of details.
  2. Make mistakes. Perfectionism can kill creativity. So, go ahead and get sloppy. Allow yourself to create something that's less than your best as a starting point. At least you'll have something to fix…or you may find that you don't use the your “messy” work at all, but that letting yourself get sloppy leads to something else that you really can use. This can be great way to jump start your creativity if you're stuck.
  3. Don't push yourself (or do). You probably already know whether you work well under pressure. For many creatives, being under pressure causes their creativity to shut down. If this is you, take a break and let yourself relax so that you can recharge. Others, however, do their best work when they are under pressure. If this is you, you may want to push yourself a little harder to find your creative inspiration.
  4. Change the scenery. A change of location can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing. If you're in your office, go outside. If you're outside, go for a drive. If you're working out of your house, try working from the coffee shop for a day. Well, you get the idea… Some of my best ideas have come when I switch up my routine and I've heard other creative people say the same thing.
  5. Don't be afraid of the man-made. Those of us who rely on creativity to earn our livings have become very accustomed to hearing advice about turning to nature for inspiration. While it's true that nature can be inspirational, so can man-made objects. Look for unique patterns and textures in man-made structures such as skyscrapers, roadways, bridges, and even road signs.
  6. Really look at automobiles. We are what we drive. There are so many different styles of cars available today, that it's mind-boggling. Look around and notice the various shapes, colors, and sizes. You'll be surprised at what you see. Even a parking lot can be a bonanza of inspiration. But don't stop with passenger vehicles. You can find inspiration by looking at other vehicles such as trucks, motorcycles, scooters, and so on.
  7. Think about people. One of the best uses of design is when a designer takes something that's very functional or even utilitarian and makes it also beautiful. Look around you and think about how everyday objects can be beautified–then go out and do it. Make something ordinary into something spectacular.
  8. Take a peek at the ideas of others. New tools like Pinterest, which is a public online bulletin board system that lets users share their favorite things, can also be a great source of inspiration. Another way to peek at the ideas of others is to browse through online photos or portfolios. (Be sure to only use these online sources as inspiration for your own completely original designs.)
  9. File ideas for later use. If you've been applying some of the methods above, it's likely that you'll find yourself with more ideas than you can use at any given time. Don't let those extra ideas go to waste. Make yourself an idea file that you can refer to in the future when you feel stuck for ideas.

Your Turn

Where do you turn for inspiration? Share your sources of inspiration in the comments.

Image by daniel jaeger

I'm the editor-in-chief of I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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