6 ways to get inspired outside the insta-universe
The Digital Age has brought access to all of us and definitely does a lot of good, but without a little refresher, the "noise" of what everyone else is doing clogs up our own inspiration and creativity. At least it does for me. I grew up in a house that was filled with art, from bronzes, to ceramics and paintings, the energy was always about appreciation of these treasures and what the imagination brought to life.
My grandfather was a famous art collector and artist and my dad continued his tradition, while also imparting his perspective on myself. Fast forward and I still to this day find myself inspired by art that was around me as a little girl.
And now, as I designer I am always seeking fresh points of view, new inspiration, and not just a clutter of different news feeds. Here are some ways I find inspiration in today's world.
1. Learn something new - take an art class, or a cooking class or a floral arrangement class. Maybe you love photography? I know, I know... you don't have time, well everyone can buy some paint and paper...even if you can't draw, get a book on drawing and play around with ideas. What is pleasing to your eye -- is it trees, is it faces is it the human body, is it buildings? My son and I take books out from the library each week and sketch. Take a photo and try to draw it out. Grab a bottle of wine and a friend (which makes it so much easier) and make a fun night out of it. The act of touching a pen or paintbrush to paper/canvas for a change is so inspiring and utilizes an entirely different part of your brain.
See the world through someone else's lens. Find history and people that follow other customs. Make new friends. Travel also shows us how to embrace what we have and what others have. At the very least get in your car and explore a new part of town.
3. Visit a non-big-box store.
This is my favorite. Say no to Home Goods and Target for just a second.
Try going to a flea market, auction or gallery. Seriously this is so refreshing. See curated items from artisans or something that is one of a kind. You will appreciate the change and find something interesting to ponder, if not a new item to add to your home, with a story and energy all its own. My favorite is a mug I purchased in Maine from a local ceramic artisan. It brings a smile to me every morning when I see it filled with coffee.
4. Turn off the TV
& read a book that is outside your comfort zone - try a new topic. If you always read historical fiction, pick up a biography about someone you've always wanted to know more about. You never know what you might learn or be inspired by. May I recommend a few: The Widow Clicquot, Ava Gardner, Grace Coddington, Winston Churchill. All fascinating icons to learn from.
5. Collect Something (no, shoes don't count!)
Becoming an expert on 1 single thing is really interesting. Have you always liked Vintage posters like I have? Try collecting and learning more about them. Find out all about the different types that exist, where to find them, what makes one special etc. Maybe you have always loved vintage cameras or postcards, or shells...find an object that moves you and learn all you can about it. At the very least, visit museums and see what they curate and collect.
6. Get off Instagram to find your own wonder.
Even just for a little break, seek your natural path. Sometimes social media distracts us from our own taste and ideal. It's hard to stay true to yourself when you're constantly bombarded by what's "trending."
When you're free to clear your mind and follow yourself you make real magic. Spend a day in nature, look around and see the leaves, look closely and find the patterns their veins make. There is inspiration all around... in the most simple objects we often overlook.
Above: wearing the two tone drape dress