Finding inspiration is incredibly important to any endeavor, creative or not. Especially as a photographer, and even as a ‘blogger’, I don’t want to put out uninspired content. I have been through plenty of creative blocks, and it’s difficult. Being someone who loves to create, I become easily frustrated when I’m at a standstill. The same goes for any entrepreneur/business owner/human being that wants to grow and move forward: you have to be inspired/motivated/excited. Over time, I have found processes and tools to continually be inspired and to make sure my vision is consistent and clear. As part of White Oak Creative’s October link-up, I’ve been prompted to my tips and tricks for finding (and keeping!) that inspiration you may need.
1. Be around like-minded individuals.
This is so so so important. In college, I was always surrounded with people with similar interests and goals: people in my major loved art like I do, my friends loved experiencing new things like I do. When I moved back home, I (somewhat) lost that kind of community. Over the summer, I made an effort to find people that I could be inspired by and that I could learn from. I’m happy to say that I have built a mini-community of creatives that I love spending time with and that I am constantly challenged and encouraged by. If you don’t have those kinds of people in your life, put in the effort and you’ll find them. Don’t know where to start? Find a Facebook group (there are plenty!) or message people on Instagram (my favorite way to connect). I cannot tell you how many friendships and connections I have made from just pressing ‘send’. The worst they could do is say “no”! Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, because chances are they are looking for people like you, too!
2. Utilize social media websites (e.g. Pinterest).
Social media is an amazing tool. In terms of looking for visual inspiration, Pinterest is my favorite. I love being able to gather all of my favorite images/color schemes/resources in one (organized) place. Here’s a little-known fact: secret boards are key. I use secret boards to gather inspiration for some things that I don’t want my followers to see. It’s also great for keeping client inspiration on the DL. I can also see trends and patterns in my inspiration; for example, if I find that I’m pinning a lot of home decor or a lot of one color, BOOM, instant blog inspo! Tumblr is also a great resource for loosely collected inspiration from all forms of media.
3. One word: travel!
My absolute favorite way to finding inspiration is to travel. Whether it’s locally or overseas, exploring a new environment can enlighten your perspective and push you outside of your comfort zone. I love to take photos when I travel around; it helps to both capture my memories and keep track of the surroundings that inspire me. Travelling is one of my passions and going to new places keeps me motivated and excited to pursue growth and discovery.
4. Take a break.
Sometimes, all you can do is reset. Take a break and go outside. Go for a walk and recollect your thoughts, but don’t overthink it. I like to take some time, whether that be a few minutes or a few days, to rest and relax. You may even find inspiration during your break! I have found that frustration furthers a creative block; the stress and the pressure become obstacles. Once you start to feel this way, take a breathe and readjust.
5. Discover something new.
Okay, I know this is extremely vague, but trust me on this one. Finding/falling in love with something new can provide a burst of inspiration, whether you found a new playlist to listen to or a new movie to watch. I love watching different films on Netflix particularly documentaries and foreign films. As far as music, I love my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist or starting radios based on music I already listen to. Another great way to stay inspired is to read something new. I have a few books on my reading list and I’m constantly adding titles to it. Reading doesn’t have to be books, however; it can also be blogs or publications. I love using Bloglovin’ to stay updated on my favorite blogs. Having multiple sources to draw inspiration from is the key to staying inspired.
6. Write it down.
I love the idea of writing everything down. I tried to maintain a journal but, to be honest, I struggled keeping up with it everyday. However, I do have a notebook where I jot down all of my ideas. I write down post ideas, photo shoot concepts, songs I hear in commercials, everything and anything. When I’m feeling stumped, a flip through my notebook gives me loads of ideas. If you don’t want to carry a notebook around, Evernote is the best app for note-taking. I had heard the praises sung by multiple bloggers/entrepreneurs about Evernote and I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t listen sooner. Plus, it syncs with all of my devices so any note I take is available immediately everywhere else.
7. Pick up a new hobby.
A few months ago in college, I had a lazy Sunday afternoon. I had finished all of my homework the day before and was looking for a way to fill my time. I pulled out my watercolors and my sketchbook and worked on a piece for almost five hours! Now, I’m not saying that you have to draw or paint, but find a new skill or hobby and start there. I have always been the kind of person that wants to learn as many different skills as possible; when I was little, I wanted to try as many new things as I could. Picking up a new hobby is one of my favorite pastimes, and with every skill I learn, I become more and more excited about creating as much as I can. I hope to pick up embroidery or calligraphy soon to expand my creativity in all kinds of art practices.
Finding inspiration may be easy, but staying inspired is the hard part. I hope my tips to find inspiration help you in your creative journey. I’d also love to know what your tips + tricks are for finding inspiration! Leave them in the comments below.
Make sure to check out everyone else’s posts on finding creative inspiration!
New Client Magnet Not Very Obsessed
Jennifer Neill Photo
Blonde in the Button Up
Design for Business
The Actor’s Diet
Clarice Gomes Designs
The Kissing Booth Blog
White Oak Creative