Inspiration doesn't always come easy. In the midst of our personal lives, professional pressures and our own expectations for ourselves, there come times when we all feel overwhelmed and as if that spark of creativity is short-circuiting. But all is not lost. Sometimes the best thing to do to help your work is to stop working. Now don't necessarily turn off your brain, but instead, find that thing that you do or that place that you go that clears your thoughts and gives you a new perspective. Everyone has their own way of doing this, but sometimes you can find what works for you in looking at what others do. This week I examined some of the different methods out there for getting inspired, including what some of our own LB team members do when their brain needs a breather. Again, there are a vast variety of ways that people get inspired. Some involve 'getting away from it all' in a quest for solitude while others focus on surrounding oneself with more people of which to feed off. It's all about what works best for you. LB designer Justin Miller says that for him, 'it's all about getting away from the computer and getting outdoors in the fresh air.' He achieves this by simply going outside and taking his dog for a walk around the neighborhood or jumping on his bike and cruising the streets while taking in the scenery. Getting design off of his mind leaves room for ideas to enter his head that have the potential to lead to new designs later. There can be times when the issue with your work isn't doing too little, but rather doing too much. Justin isn't the only one who finds the outdoors to be stimulating. Others have similar muses like the ocean or the sunset or restart their brain by doing outdoor activities such as running or driving. Surrounding yourself in an environment that starkly contrasts with your usual workspace can put your mind in a different place that allows for new thought and inspiration. Physically taking yourself 'out of the box' can lead to the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that inspirational ideas are made of. For LB developer Chad Davis, music does the trick when his creativity needs a kick-start. 'It can be live music or playing music or even just listening to music on my headphones,' says Chad. One of the great things about music is its power to transform a situation and have you look at your environment differently. Even better, if you aren't in the position to leave your desk, music creates an escape that involves no physical movement (but feel free to dance a little). Also, it's up to you which tunes you choose to set your desired mood. Inundating yourself in the creative work of others can foster your own creativity and inspiration. Looking at art that already exists helps you build on what is already out there; it's like a jumping point. Consider the fact that those artists probably ran into walls during their creative process too, but they got through it and so will you. As for me, I like to surround myself with people and just watch. Observing others can be invigorating and reminds me that there are so many other ways of doing things. We all have the tendency to get lost in our own lives and forget that insight can be found by examining the lives of different people. People watching can happen just about anywhere that there's… well, people. Malls, airports, parks and concerts are all great places to see strangers in their element. Inspiration often happens when you take some time to look at the world through the eyes of someone else. These are just a few ways people find inspiration, and maybe one of these could work for you, too. Just remember that when you run into a wall, don't give up. It's important to make time to let inspiration develop naturally by doing what it is that frees your mind from the stresses of work and gives you time to think. Find what takes you there and get inspired.
By Savannah Harper