Inspiration…every business needs a healthy dose of it, not just the (obviously) creative businesses like mine. Think about it — every time you create a new product, come up with a brilliant new business idea, or develop a compelling new marketing message — you draw on your own inner well of inspiration to do so.
And oftentimes, that “inner well” needs to be filled, so you have plenty of inspiration to fuel your next big business move! So, let me first show you where my own inspiration and creative juices flow from, and then I’ll share with you some ways you can feed your own “inner well” of inspiration…
How I Get Inspired
- PAINTING I took this up as a hobby a few years ago, and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the challenge of laying down paint on canvas to spark the imagination. Just mixing the paint gives me new appreciation for the way different colors blend together in the natural world to create a complex rainbow of color.
- DOODLING ON MY GLASS BOARD Creating this temporary art not only decorates my office, but forces me to think a little differently than I would about other more permanent/tangible art forms.
- OBSERVATION Sometimes, all I need is to look more closely at my surroundings. It’s surprising how inspiration can be found in ordinary objects that were there all along, but that I just never notice during normal daily activities.
- GREETING CARDS My guilty pleasure! No kidding, I love to browse the greeting card aisle at the grocery store, for the sheer purpose of studying those elaborately-designed pieces of art. I like to wonder, how did the designer arrive at that gorgeous finished product? Makes me ponder my own creative process, how I get from point A to point B.
YOUR TURN! Find Your Inspiration
- Look at nature. No, I mean really LOOK! Take a moment to notice things you never did before, like the texture of tree bark, the petals on your favorite flower, how things are shaped and colored, and even how they feel and/or sound. Inspiration abounds, I promise!
- Visit museums, gift shops, eclectic boutiques, and so forth, to glean new ideas from. Don’t look at places that are too closely related to your business, but look for things in other industries that could be applied to your work.
- Go check out your local library, and thumb through some intriguing books. Not only is it an interesting tactile experience to handle the different covers and pages, but you might find inspiration from the words and images within!
- Borrow some crayons from your kid, break out that old calligraphy set, or whatever strikes your fancy. Drafting your website copy in fancy ink, or even modeling your product ideas with pottery clay, could be just the thing to fuel your creativity. (FUN FACT: Did you know that when automakers are working on a new car design, they create a full-size model out of clay? Crazy-cool!)
So…where do you get your inspiration? Did any of my suggestions strike a chord with you, and if so, which ones? Drop me a comment below!
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About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!