My Freelance Life 4 : Finding Inspiration

BY Wita | 26/09/2013 | Girlboss
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My Freelance Life : Finding Inspiration by Design is Yay!

For designers and artists alike, inspirations are food for our minds. However, even though the saying “Inspiration is Everywhere” makes it sounds easy, it’s actually not that easy. In today’s topic of My Freelance Life, I’m going to talk about everything that I know, and able to tell you, about Inspirations.

I have to make a confession, I’m the master of procrastination. When I still have 2 weeks or so to design something, I usually put it aside and do other things instead. 5 days before the deadline I usually freak out, the adrenaline starts rushing into my brain, and suddenly, inspiration strikes. So what I’m trying to say is, Inspiration, in fact, is everywhere. It’s our lazy brain that stops us from searching our thoughts thoroughly.

1. O R G A N I Z E  Y O U R  T H O U G H T S

  • List down using bullet point or numbers ALL the works that you have to do. Preferably, put the most urgent on top. This will free your mind from remembering all the things that you have to do. Put them somewhere that you can see easily everyday.
  • At this very moment, I’m having a lot of work to do before I’m leaving for Indonesia next week. I have to finish my client’s projects, design a few party stationery, design new range of greeting cards and get them printed and not to forget creating a few posts for Design is Yay so that you guys won’t miss me too much while I’m gone :) So, I divide my tasks into categories. I prefer to finish off one category first before moving on to the next. Tip: use coloured post-its or decorate them with different washi tape colour/pattern for each category.

2. F I N D  Y O U R  I N S P I R A T I O N S

  • It’s going to be easier for you to find your inspirations once you get your tasks (and thoughts) organised. By doing that, I don’t need to search for party stationery inspirations while I’m still going through the create posts for Design is Yay list.
  • When searching for inspiration, I armed myself with: magazines, design books, and the best source of inspirations: blogs. Not forgetting design websites such as behance or dribbbleTip: collect images or articles that you think will be suitable for particular projects. But remember, use them as inspirations only, not to copy the entire design or artwork. 
  • Get out of your space. Go to a cafe or a park and draw. Find cafes that makes you feel comfortable. For example, my go-to cafe for doing design work is Lonsdale Street Roasters. It’s a little artsy cafe in Canberra that makes great coffee.
  • I’m always fascinated with artists or designers who are able to show their sketchbook to the world. If you look at my sketchbook, it’s full of erased-pencil marks, double lines, and scratches. When inspiration doesn’t strike, I draw, sketch and doodle like there’s no tomorrow. I won’t stop drawing the same thing over and over again, until it finally feels right.

3. I N S P I R A T I O N  V S  C O P Y I N G

  • There’s a thin line between being inspired, and copying someone’s work. It is totally okay to be inspired by someone else’s design, but do it your own way with your own style. And that doesn’t apply for art and design only, but also for blogs, websites, shops, cafes and everything else. My illustrations are highly inspired by awesome illustrators, such as: Helen Dardik, Anna Bond and Erin Jang. I love Dardik’s carefree characters style. However, I also like Anna Bond’s simplicity and colours that makes her illustrations look easy on the eyes. Erin Jang inspires me in terms of overall style, bold and colourful, and easily applicable to many things. I combined all of the things I like about their work, and create my own personal style.
  • Imagine yourself as someone else who doesn’t know you, and look at your work. Ask yourself honestly, does it remind you of someone else’s work? Have you seen that particular design anywhere else? When I saw these posters in IKEA, I straight away remember Blanca Gomez’s illustrations (this, this, this, and this). Even though the style is kinda different (Blanca Gomez’s is a hundred times better, of course), but they are still too similar.

Inspiration is Everywhere pencils photo by The Carbon Crusader.

  • I always do my best to do original work and not to copy something else.
    But sometimes I create something that for me seems to be totally unique, and then afterwards I (or someone else) will find something that looks exactly like mine. I guess, I quite often store good ideas in the very back of my mind, and then by accident use that idea in my work. Super frustrating!

    Great post BTW :)

    • Wita

      Thanks!
      Yep, that’s the frustrating thing about art & design. But I think it really shows when someone’s just being inspired, or plainly copying from someone else :)