Inspiration is everywhere, if you look for it. Sometimes you just have to look hard.
I used to sit around all day watching TV, surfing the web, thinking that out of nowhere, the greatest idea I’d ever fathomed would spring into my head, fully formed. I’d just have to let my fingers fly and BAM! I’d have a story. I would keep that in my mind as I waited. And waited.
Then I’d realize that nothing was happening. Because I was not giving precious brain power to focusing and formulating, I wasn’t getting ideas in return. At the time I didn’t understand that more often than not, ideas need to be created. They are like seeds that need your thoughts, passion, and devoted time in order to grow into beautiful flowers.
Even if you’re just starting out, even if you don’t think you have a single idea, there is the seed of one in your mind, hidden, waiting for the right conditions to grow.
That’s where you come in. Your job as a crafter, writer, project-planner, or creator of any kind is to search out the inspiration to make an original idea. You are the grower. The catalyst. Luckily, there are many ways to find inspiration, and not all of them involve brain-busting, vein-popping concentration. (That’s a good way to burn yourself out). There are ways to exercise the brain without feeling like its even exercise.
My favorite is reading. Reading is fun! It’s relaxing. It’s also a great medium for unlocking your inner genius and getting your subconscious working. Reading graphic novels, illustrated books, and non-graphic novels both in print and online inspired me and gave me a lot of the ideas I plan to implement in my own project.
In my journey for inspiration, I like to recall certain aspects of each story that I love, for example the art style, the theme, or a specific moment where I felt something special. Without stealing the idea, only focusing on a piece of it or a feeling, I start to piece together what I want my own project to look, sound, and feel like. Sometimes I have a breakthrough, and sometimes I don’t. But I certainly come closer to knowing exactly what I envision for my project. This kind of deep and underlying idea development is valuable to me, especially at the early stages of my project.
Being a visual person and working on a visual project, this mental exercise really helps me. That being said, you might find inspiration somewhere else, depending on you and your project. Experiment! Try new things. Soon you’ll figure out the process that works best for you.
One thing I have to remind myself once in a while is to keep ideas fresh and unique. Being inspired by other people is great, but making your own original concepts is even better. Add twists, combine ideas, and remember to keep finding inspiration!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on inspiration! Where do you discover it?