Feed Your Brain: Why Inspiration Is The Key To Successful Design

by Feb 8, 2018

Inspiration is all around you, but sometimes it’s easy to hit a creative block. In your time of need use our handy guide to help flourish the visionary juices once more.

Back in 2014 I wrote the article A Guide to Finding Your Daily Design Fix. Fast forward 4 years (wow time really does fly!) and I want to build on this piece and discuss sources of inspiration that will help you, as a creative, to produce beautiful work.

Borrowing a quote from my previous article: “Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour films, music, books, paintings, poems, photographs, conversations, dreams, trees, architecture, street signs, clouds, light and shadows… authenticity is invaluable. Originality is non-existent”. This rallying cry was written by Paul Arden in one of my favourite books Whatever you think, think the opposite. To sum up his point, no design is original, everything is inspired by something that has been before. To create successful design you need great inspiration and great inspiration can be found ANYWHERE and in ANYTHING.

We are lucky enough to live in a generation where information, in its infinite forms, is readily available at the click of a mouse, tap of an iPhone or flick of a remote. Not only this, we live in land rich in design, culture and heritage with groundbreaking architecture, revolutionary technology and interesting inhabitants. Whether you realise it or not, inspiration really is all around us.

Subconsciously as a creative person you constantly absorb your surroundings and findings, ready to regurgitate the information at the appropriate time. But there are often times that you hit a brick wall and call upon inspiring resources to aid the design process. Although normally I would always recommend stepping away from your trusty Mac and gaining inspiration beyond four walls, sometimes pressure and deadlines mean it just isn’t possible. In these times of need here’s a helpful list of creative sources and influences on Instagram:

Creative Folk

Sarah Matthews
instagram.com/_sarah_matthews

Jessica Walsh
instagram.com/jessicavwalsh

Camille Walala

instagram.com/camillewalala

Clare Nicolson
instagram.com/clarenicolson

Anthony Burrill
instagram.com/anthonyburrill

Lauren Hom
instagram.com/homsweethom

Veronica Dearly
instagram.com/veronicadearly

Kyle Wilkinson
instagram.com/mrkylewilkinson

Tad Carpenter
instagram.com/tadcarpenter

Tako Chabukiani
instagram.com/tako_chabukiani

Companies

Serial Cut
instagram.com/serialcut

We Built This City
instagram.com/wbtclondon

D&AD
instagram.com/d_and_ad

Ragged Edge
instagram.com/ragged_edge

Inhouse Designs
instagram.com/inhousedesigns_

Spaces & Places

I Have This Thing With Floors
instagram.com/ihavethisthingwithfloors

Phil Donohue
instagram.com/phdonohue

Museum of Arts & Design
instagram.com/madmuseum

Daniel Rueda
instagram.com/drcuerda

Design Boom

instagram.com/designboom

Illustration & Branding

Melsys illustrations
instagram.com/melsysillustrations

Negative Space Logos
instagram.com/negativespacelogos

George Bokhua
instagram.com/george_bokhua

Graphic Design Central
instagram.com/graphicdesigncentral

Graphic Gang
instagram.com/graphicgang

Dribbble
instagram.com/dribbblers

Neil Stevens
instagram.com/neil_a_stevens

Gemma O’Brien
instagram.com/mrseaves101

Erik Morinovich
instagram.com/ErikMarinovich

Bloggers & Mags

We Heart
instagram.com/we_heart

Elsie & Emma: A Beautiful Mess
instagram.com/abeautifulmess

Grace Bonney: Design Sponge
instagram.com/designsponge

Creative Boom
instagram.com/creativeboommag

Lucy Feagins: The Design Files
instagram.com/thedesignfiles

Design Milk
instagram.com/designmilk

Deezen
instagram.com/dezeen

The Dieline
instagram.com/thedieline

Wallpaper*
instagram.com/wallpapermag

Because we are surrounded by an abundance of inspiration, it can often be overwhelming and hard to take in. In these times use my handy guide to organise your thoughts.

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Images © Clare Nicolson, Sarah MatthewsI Have This Thing With Floors, Serial CutMelsys Illustrations & We Heart

About Natalie Jahangiry

Natalie is half Persian with a Geordie accent. Although small in stature, she makes up for it with a big personality! As a Graphic Designer you will often find Natalie gushing about her passion for all things creative and sharing her ideas with everyone and anyone who will listen. If she’s not decorating her house you will find her cooking up recipes from her foodie family or propped up in a cocktail bar in town.