How to find inspiration and get into a creative state of mind? Check out these awesome ideas!
Let me tell you a riddle. A single lit window in the late hours of the night. A soul, which cannot be cramped in a company office, but having no boss is not yet enough to make it feel happy and free. What is it?
A freelancer with artistic inclinations, of course! There are many different species of this animal: the content writer who has always wanted to write books of fiction instead; the music video maker who is constantly planning to shoot full-length films; the wedding photographer who dreams of exhibitions of their personal abstract art, etc.
What they all have in common is, they are all jugglers – trying to balance between getting paid for working on other people’s projects and finding the energy for their own artistic projects as well. For the first task, you only need motivation. That’s the easy part, believe it or not. When you work for your dreams, though, you’ll want to get yourself into the blissful state of being truly inspired.
Unfortunately, inspiration can be a spoiled little brat. The good news is, there are certain ways to make it behave.
Create an Inspiring Environment
If you work from home, but you don’t care much what your home looks like, the very environment you wake up in will already set you up in an uninspired mood. Sometimes we can’t have the accommodation of our dreams. Still, we can make the most out of what is affordable.
If you rent a furnished apartment, it won’t be entirely furnished the way you would have done it. You can decorate in your own style, though.
You can change the curtains, for instance, shower curtain included. You can add cute little details in the rooms that go well with your new curtains. This will help you feel as if the apartment is your own, a home of your dreams. A home where you’ll find inspiration day after day!
You can also check these minimalist life hacks that instantly reduce stress.
Another useful idea: change bed linen more often than necessary. The constant fragrance of cleanliness, no piles of stuff everywhere, things you love in the decoration – all these create the perfect fresh environment for fresh ideas.
Travel the World and Find Inspiration
You won’t get a lot of new ideas if you’re stuck in the same old place. Depression, heartache, boredom, continuous exhaustion… Everybody knows that traveling can be the best cure for all unpleasant conditions in life.
I guess I don’t even have to explain why different places inspire us. In short, we see new things, new cultures, which allow our thoughts to go in a new direction; at the same time, we inevitably make comparisons with the lifestyle we are used to, and we get into a philosophical mode.
With all our senses sharpened this way, it’s very likely to be inspired with unexpected ideas.
Adventures in Your Own City
Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to travel the world too often. But a new approach to your own city or town can feel pretty much like traveling, too.
Ask the people around you to recommend interesting unfamiliar destinations to visit. Take new routes to your familiar destinations. Explore a neighborhood in which you’ve never set foot. Find a private gallery that you have never heard of. Choose new cafés for your meetings. Or even better, go there on your own, to read a book or maybe do some work at your laptop.
All this will break your routine because routine is pretty much what makes us feel stuck up and uninspired.
Write Down Your Ideas
Once you have created a good setting for your inspired self, you can start outlining the shape and content of your project. This whole approach works for any type of art: music, writing, painting, design of whatever you need to design, etc.
The best and safest place you can take ideas from is your own mind. That’s why I strongly recommend that you always stick to the ‘Notebook Scheme’. Keep a notebook on your nightstand, another one in your handbag or jacket pocket; have a separate document for ideas on your computer, and one on your smartphone as well.
Whenever a good idea crosses your mind, write it down. No delay! You must be aware that it’s perfectly possible to forget even an idea that has made you jump up with excitement!
The Notebook Scheme allows you to search for and find inspiration in a whole pool of ideas, created by no one but yourself throughout all those years or months when you had been busy with other things, and you had not been ready for your own artistic projects yet.
Find Inspiration in Key Figures From the Field
I don’t mean that you should be a copycat. Not at all! But you must know what the others are doing, what people currently need and respect, what has been done, and what still waits to be developed.
Following the new trends in your field of interest will give you good ideas, and the inspiration to develop them in your own unique way.
Find Inspiration in Other Types of Art
Staying tuned with the trends in other art forms is an even better idea. This approach eliminates the risk of unconsciously copying someone else’s work. Even if you take an already developed idea from another type of art, you’ll have to remodel it significantly in the process of applying it to your own field.
Consuming art in all its forms is a great approach in the search for inspiration. You can always count on it. I can give you an example with a friend of mine who studied Filmmaking and had to make her diploma film recently.
She was struggling with the script for a long time. She couldn’t find an idea that would make her think ‘That’s it!’. Then she read a short story that instantly grabbed her, contacted the author, and turned it into a script for her film.
Next, she had some hard time coming up with a solution for the music. Her film tells the story of a group of kids, and she didn’t feel that typical film music corresponded well with the picture. She found inspiration in video game music and pointed it out to the composer.
The same happened with the color correction of the film – she loved the coloring of a certain type of modern photography, so they tried to adjust it to the film coloring.
See? Even if you can’t invent a revolutionary idea that has never been seen anywhere, you can make something really interesting by applying different art forms in your own art.
Combine Small Ideas
I wish that we lived in a world, where every man of art could base each of their works on a great, innovative idea. You know, the kind of WOW ideas that can be described in one sentence, which makes everybody else feel envious for not having thought of the same thing first.
The world we actually live in is quite different, though: in most cases, someone has already been there, done that. Of course, great ideas can occur to us every once in a while, but not every time.
What are we supposed to do with all those large periods of time, when we simply don’t have the chance to encounter the Big Inspiration? Should we just sit there and pity ourselves for the miserable creative life that we are leading? Of course not.
Remember: great work can be done with a bunch of smaller ideas as well. Don’t waste your time, waiting for the thunderbolt of genius to hit you in the shower! If it does – good. If it doesn’t, you can still be creative. Gather them good small ideas and shape them up into something big!
Get Down to It
OK, you’ve taken your time planning, gathering ideas, and trying to find inspiration for your big project. But this preliminary process can take a lifetime. At some point, you should just get down to work. You should make a schedule with working hours and deadlines, and you should start treating yourself as a hired worker.
Inspired or not, you show up at your ‘office’ at 9 o’clock every morning and stay until noon, trying to do your magic. Even if you don’t feel magical at all right now. All famous creative people say that this is the right thing to do.
Writer Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk about the creative genius and its absence is old, but gold. I think it’s an inspiration itself, which can put a perfect end to my list of advice on this topic. Twenty minutes from now, your concept about inspiration and creativity will change drastically.
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