Inspiration, and Where to Find it
Finding inspiration can be super difficult. Using that inspiration without copying what you’ve been inspired by can be even harder. There’s a fine line between taking inspiration from another artist’s work, or from anywhere in general, and plagiarism. But in this post I’ll just be covering the various ways in which I find inspiration.
Below I’ve created a list of the top places I look for inspiration, including for client work, personal projects, and for the Daily Posters project.
There are tons of very talented designers and artist of all fields on Instagram. You can search the general term for what you’re looking for, and be shown a bunch of cool posts that will inspire you. Instagram is great for Graphic Design, Photography, UI/UX design and more! Plus there’s also a option to save posts you like, to look at later on.
Similar to Instagram, but literally for inspiration. Pinterest is one of the leading inspiration centered websites. Here you can find posts, or pins, about any subject. I use Pinterest pretty much daily for inspiration. The ability to save and organize your pins is a big help too.
The British Library Flickr
I like to play around with digital collages. Recently the British Library published a huge (and I mean huge) collection of vintage illustrations to their Flickr gallery, many of which are totally free for personal and commercial use. Sometimes just looking at assets that you can use right now is the best way of finding inspiration.
Similar to The British Library’s Flickr account, vintage books are a great place to find inspiration and illustrations to use. I usually gravitate towards medical journals myself. I like the often macabre anatomical illustrations. But there are tons of these vintage books and journals on pretty much any subject. Secondhand bookshops can be a good place to find these, as well as websites like eBay. Keep in mind that these books and journals can often be pretty pricey, especially if you're looking at purchasing an original copy. There are plenty of people making reproductions/reprints though!
Nothing beats just using Google to find inspiration. Many times when working on posters for the Daily Posters project, I’ve literally Googled “cool posters” or “poster design” and found something that has inspired me. Using the advanced search features too, you can filter your searches to find specific sizes, colours, ages, Creative Commons licenses and more.
Your Own Work
This might sound odd, but there’s nothing wrong with looking to your own work for inspiration. Many of the times that I’ve looked back at my old work, I’ve can see ways in which they could be built upon or improved. Try it!
Pretty Much Anything
Keep in mind that you don't need to look at visuals to be inspired. Pretty much anything and everything that you interact with has the potential to inspire you. From novels, to music, anything! If you keep your mind open to new ideas and concepts, you'll never have an inspiration shortage!
This list is just a few of the many ways and places in which you can be inspired. The methods listed here are what typically works best for me, but hopefully they'll help you too!