Since starting my online minimal accessory brand nearly three years ago, I’ve found that this thing of “inspiration” has been the key to being able to put out at least two new collections every year. As designer for the brand, keeping things consistent is really important as I really want my brand supporters to feel connected to every piece in the collection. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new piece or one of the originals, I want my customers to recognise the DNA in the design and feel connected to it. But on the other hand, i want the customer a fresh experience and evoke feelings of excitement at the same time. As a designer, this has got me thinking about inspiration: How to be inspired and how to stay inspired. Here’s some thoughts.
Absorbing yourself in your work. Being consistent with research in your chosen discipline and creating a vision board for your work is a great idea. I use Instagram and Pinterest religiously when I am starting to flesh out new collection that my customers are going to want to buy, but often, this really isn’t enough and can just produce prescriptive designs that really aren’t part of a deeper story i want to communicate.
Be counter-intuitive. When I’m feeling completely void of inspiration, I do the opposite of the first point. I get out of my head and completely detach myself from the design work i need to do. I stop waiting for inspiration to hit. Rarely the bolt of lightning idea actually happens, but i devote myself to meaningful self-care. For me, as Mum to an eight month old boy, we go out for runs with a specifically designed “jogging buggy” and listen to a podcast that doesn’t have anything do do with fashion design. The designs that prove to be strong selling haven’t come as a result of hours on Instagram scrolling but have somehow materialised from daily life, travel and daily fuelling myself in ways that inspire and interest me. Detaching from the discipline for a time can be a great tool for reigniting the imagination. My creative outlets as a jewellery designer, writer and content creator have a cross-disciplinary element that all feed into each other and I find that taking the focus away from one of these disciplines is a great way to actually ignite it.
Consider that we are ‘Receivers.’ If there is a flow of inspiration in this life and we are open, perhaps we can be the receiver that ideas can flow through? This may seem a little ‘out there’ to some, but if you believe there is something grander out there, that there is an unlimited source of possibility, ideas and creativity, then just maybe, we can tap into this flow and rather than inspiration coming ‘to’ us, it comes ‘through’ us.
Follow Your Bliss. I love the notion that to be or stay inspired I can simply ‘follow my bliss.’ Follow the inklings that guide you as a creative. They may be drawing from the well of inspiration you have been filling up over a lifetime. I try not to be overly concerned with the outcome or whether it will make money. Your passion is the currency you’ll need to bring your idea to fruition so follow what your gut is saying and what genuinely sparks inside.