Top five tips for finding inspiration

By Matthew Glover

We might be biased but we believe that the creative industry is one of the best to work in. However, as with any job, it comes with its challenges. One of these is a constant need to find inspiration.

When delivering designs becomes commercial, it’s perhaps easy to become stuck in a style rut. It can also feel as though the inspiration for creating something new but still on brief is somewhat lacking.  At Littlefish, we’re lucky enough to work with brands of all shapes and sizes, in a variety of industries. This means staying inspired is key to ensuring we adapt our design to suit a given client. Here, we give our top five tips for finding inspiration when you feel  it’s running low.

1.) Take a break

This might sound obvious but whether it be a ten minute walk in the fresh air or a few days away from a given project, a break can really help you gain perspective. Sometimes, when we spend too long on one thing we end up becoming siloed and creativity diminishes. It’s easy to become fixated with trying to find a solution. However, taking time away from a tricky or slightly mundane brief can mean the difference between turning a creative corner or taking a motivational nose dive.

2.) Look for the unlikely muse

Sometimes, the most brilliant ideas can come from the most unlikely sources. If you’re stuck on something, why not chat about it with someone outside the creative industry? Without the pressure of a looming deadline or emails pinging away, it might just be that you strike upon something that sparks your interest and gets your creative mojo back on track.

3.) Take a trip down memory lane

If you’re feeling trapped by a current project, why not take a look at projects you’ve worked on in the past? The planning and development stages can be particularly helpful. Reviewing work that you did when you felt on top of your game and flushed with enthusiasm can give you inspiration for your latest project. Undoubtedly, there will also be ideas that you’ve had in the past that didn’t work but might just be perfect now. Why look elsewhere when the inspiration you need could actually lie with you?

4.) Don’t be scared to go back to square one

Often, we have ideas that, at the outset seem perfect but once developed turn out to be anything but. If this is the case, don’t get stuck trying to force things. Sometimes inspiration just isn’t there and never will be. Be brave, stop and start again. Sometimes a blank page and a fresh start is what you need to get you back on course.

5.) Take another look

Sometimes you can feel like an idea isn’t going anywhere because you’re having a bad day or you’ve spent so long working on it you’ve become bored. Firstly, don’t beat yourself up. Even the most creative person can get stuck in a rut and have times when everything feels wrong and absolutely nothing is working. If this is the case, leave an idea for a bit but don’t abandon it altogether. It could be that your lack of inspiration on a given day means you miss the potential of your own work. Taking another look on a new day or after a break (see point one) can open your eyes to just how good you really are. You might have had all the inspiration you needed all along!

To take a look at some of the projects we’ve been working on in our portfolio section.

  • Agency life
  • Design inspiration
  • Littlefish
  • Logo design
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