If you want to be a better designer, then you should feed yourself great designs. Forehead-slapping common sense, right? Yet some designers downplay the importance of consuming and getting inspired by great designs. Yet there are 3 reasons why you need to feed yourself great designs.
Designers that think influence and constantly exposing yourself to great designs isn't that important tend to believe that brilliant work comes from within and that it can be turned on at will. But as creative block---which gets the best of us---shows, creativity is a finicky beast. And a lot of outside factors subconsciously dictate how and when your best designs are created. Therefore, it's important that you feed yourself great designs. It's what can help inspire your best design work---whether for yourself or for your clients---as well as keep you going during the creative down periods.
Without further ado, here are 3 reasons why you need to feed yourself great designs:
1. Good Goes In, Good Comes Out
Think of your design work as a body: when good design inspiration comes in, good work comes out. It's similar to your body where when good ingredients come in, a good body and day comes out. You're more energized, better rested and alert, healthier, stronger, and so forth.
It's no different with your design work. Creativity is a ridiculously fragile thing - when you feed it anything but the best inspiration, your output quickly plummets. You really can't be messing with it. Think about it: after watching some mediocre show or browsing through fairly average blogs or listening to safe-and-nothing-special music, did you get really excited and have inspired ideas start running through your head? The answer is probably 'no', and with good reason - bad ingredients went in, so it's only natural that mediocre work would come out if you attempted to design afterwards.
Keep your design creativity in tip-top shape. Healthy, strong, alert, energized. By feeding yourself great designs, you increase your chances of also creating great designs. Good goes in, good comes out.
2. Get an Energetic Jolt During Uninspired Moments
Creative block happens to the best of us. Minimize it by feeding yourself some great designs. You'll then get an energetic jolt. Perfect for those uninspired moments when you can't seem to come up with any cool designs - or if you have to force yourself really hard just to finish an existing design project.
If you live in a city with some great public art, architecture, or museums or shops nearby, you can take a break and simply walk around outside. You'll come back to your computer re-energized. Or you can flip through some design magazines, or browse some design showcase websites. Or do whatever that'll expose you to some great, inspiring designs. But get away from your design work in order to feed yourself these designs. Even if just for a bit.
The energetic jolt you'll get can help inspire you, and you can come back to your design work filled with creative energy and ideas.
3. Keep Yourself Going Longer Creatively
Creativity is like a sprint runner - inspiration usually happens in spurts for most. But by constantly feeding yourself great designs, you can help make your creativity more like a marathon runner so that you can keep yourself going longer creatively.
Now, that doesn't mean being like a robot that never stops creating or being inspired. That's simply not possible - plus, not many would really want that, anyway. No, keeping yourself going longer creatively just means that you can minimize the uninspired down times and extend your creative designing times. In other words, keep yourself going in the zone longer - when you're inspired and your ideas and work is flowing.
Similar to #2, you're not only shortening the uninspired moments but by extension helping yourself be inspired more often. The higher frequency of inspiration can help you keep designing in the zone for longer periods of time. You'll have so many ideas, or you'll be energized by some many great designs you just saw earlier.
Feed Yourself Great Designs
Again, you might be thinking this is forehead-slapping common sense. Of course you should feed yourself great designs rather than mediocre ones, and by doing so more frequently you'll be inspired and in the creative zone more often, right? Yet it's easy to forget the most simple of things and succumb to wasting hours on YouTube or playing games when you're uninspired and feel like procrastinating on your latest design project. When all it could've taken to get you back on track is a little bit of time with a great design magazine, or a brief walk around town, or anything where you expose yourself to great designs.
Rinse and repeat, and you'll help yourself be a better designer and create inspired designs more frequently.
Hopefully you now see how important feeding yourself great designs is. It's not just for pleasure, or something to do to pass the time, or influence to take lightly - it's what can help keep your creative engine well-oiled and fueled so you can run better and longer with your design work.
To recap, here are the 3 reasons why you need to feed yourself great designs:
- Good goes in, good comes out
- Get an energetic jolt during uninspired moments
- Keep yourself going longer creatively
Now get out there and start feeding yourself all sorts of great designs.
How have you been feeding yourself great designs? What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration, especially outside of web and visual design?
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