When inspiration is lost, take a walk.
I’m a visual person, it comes from my early background as a Photographer, being visual has never left me. Throughout my various careers, when stuck, when that inspiration is lost, I always took a walk with my camera to try to find my inspiration. Thank God my phone is a camera now, so much easier than 15 years ago when I used to lug my SLR gear everywhere:)
For years I was involved with new product development, feature sets, market research, packaging, sales, marketing, trade shows, all of which require visual cues and observation to be able to effectively create a company brand or product image. These days through writing, graphic design, photography, and video I create content for print and web publication. The one constant across these mediums that I use to create is how I use visual cues from the world around me for my inspiration.
Take the photo above, it was taken a few months ago when I was really blocked. I had been staring at my computer for about 4 hours and I had accomplished absolutely nothing. So, slam the laptop cover, shoes on, phone in pocket and out the door in about 30 seconds. Then I walk, look at everything and start taking pictures of all kinds of different things, camera (phone) always in hand ready to shoot. Packaging, trees, business signs, just anything and everything that catches my eye. It might be colour, it might be a layout, it might be the leading lines on a streetscape or landscape, I may have no idea why I am taking a picture at that moment, but something caught my eye, so take the shot.
From my walk, from all the man-made items and structures that I had encountered, it was this sunset photo that ultimately unblocked me. The colours, the wave patterns, the highlight of the sun setting, the silhouette shapes, the scattered boats that fill the frame just so in an asymmetrical way, the leading lines from the clouds shadow…it’s not an award-winning photo, it is not really a good photo in my opinion. But it did the trick. it brought me back to basics and opened up some awesome creative avenues for me that I used for weeks.
I just got up and left my computer, midday, for about a 4-hour vision quest. The result? Loads of exercise, fresh air, and creative inspiration stored digitally and in the old noggin…time well spent in my books. When inspiration is lost, take a walk.
P.S. I am writing this today as I have lost my inspiration, my creativity, my visual cues. The cure today? Walk to the Cinema and watch Star Wars 8 🙂