Inspiration is a Journey— Daily Journal 04
A quick disclaimer: I’m working on my writing. I would say I am currently rather horrible.
The search for inspiration is something I constantly struggle with and I strive to control. For me the reality is that it’s uncontrollable, it’s going to hit when it wants and all I can do is make sure that I have compiled enough stuff in my brain to make sure that there are dots to connect.
Design Theory: I have always loved reading about fine art and architecture theory. The reason why artist do or build the things they build has always driven my passion of design. Hearing someone elses thoughts and understanding their perspective of the world helps me step outside of my bubble and look at things from a different angle. I particulay love writings and thoughts from Frank Lloyd Wright, Salvador Dali, Alexander Mcqueen, Oswald Boateng, and all of the DADA movement have really inspired me.
Culture: I make sure to stay update with global Social, cultural, political and economic patterns. I find that having at least a high level understanding of what’s going on in the world helps me feel more passionate about projects, because I can see how it might impact culture as a whole. I also guess I cant talk about culture without talking about diversity. This goes back to the idea of constantly bursting your own bubble of knowledge. When you surround yourself with a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, different goals and perspectives your world becomes enlarged, and you’re forced to look at things in different ways. I am personaly lucky enough to work at BASIC where we have a very diverse group of people from all over the world, who are not afraid to voice their opinions and express themselves.
The Challenge: I would say my main source of inspiration is actually the challenge, and when i say challenge i don’t just mean the design brief, but the deeper challenge of what does this product or company mean to society as a whole, what is it adding to culture, where does it fit and how does it fit. these are the things that get me excited about a project. Finding somethings true value and true place within the societal ecosystem gets my mind moving. This is what helps ground all the stuff I have been putting into my brain, it’s the foundation that I use to start connecting things to.
Design Beauty: As a designer, it is a given that I would look at other design to get inspired, but I try and look outside of the medium I am working in. I find that if you only consume the medium in which you work then you run the risk of just reproducing that which you were inspired by. So when I’m working on a web design I might go to the book store and look at editorial design or go to a blog and troll fashion design. Looking at something from the world of fashion might inspre a color pallet, or looking at a parking garage might inspire a guided user experience.
Life: The last but probably most important thing that inspres me is human interaction. I love to watch how people interact with things. Just like I mentioned the idea of a parking garage, I love to look at things like that and the user flow that a garage has built for guiding people in and out in a safe manner. There are a lot of really interesting user experience things outside of digital expereience. We just have to look around us.
One more thing. Recently I realized that all that looking for inspiration in the outdoors is just simply not true for me. For me the outdoors is more a place where my mind can be empty so the other things I have taken in can find room to connect and surface.
Ok now for some rambling: Anything that deals with anthropology as it relates to any art movement is fascinating. Art is a visual book of history. It allows us to see and analyze what people where feeling and thinking in response to world events. For example I recently went to LACMA where they had a whole exhibit on men’s fashion through out history and it was spectacular. You could see at each point in history how a specific garment and trend was reflective of a larger social, political or economic trend.
So in conclusion. Inspiration is not a flash in the pan moment. It’s when your mind is connecting all the seemingly random dots of information that you have been collecting in your brain. So the more informed you are the more inspiration you will have. At least that’s my truth.