Anyone that is creative knows that finding inspiration and staying inspired is usually one of your biggest struggles.
It comes in bursts and if you don’t act on it while it’s hot then it’s a lost opportunity that could catapult your career as a freelancer.
The good thing is that there is inspiration all around you and everyone gets inspired by many different things. But when you’re in a rut, it can seem like the whole world is against you. All you want to do is create but nothing is coming out right.
There are tons of videos from YouTubers explaining this exact dilemma. They feel stuck, because they’re neglecting the kind of content that they’re passionate about. They’re doing it for the views or because they think that’s what their subscribers want to watch.
As a 22 year old whose struggled with this through college design courses and personal projects, I’ve found a few ways to keep the wheel of inspiration turning.
There’s no magic formula, but here are 3 things you can do to harness your creativity and become the type of creator you’ve always aspired to be.
1. Narrow Your Interests
Throughout middle and high school I had so many different interests. I took drawing and sewing classes, because I wanted to become a fashion designer. I participated in swim team for 7 years, because I wanted to compete in the Olympics. YouTube came around and I wanted to be a Singer/Songwriter because I would stay up all night watching videos of Gabrielle Aplin, Shannon Saunders, and Amy Colalella.
I even bought a guitar, took some lessons, wrote my own songs, and posted some Daughter and Frank Ocean covers (they’re hidden now hehe). Honestly, someone should have told me to sit down. It wasn’t until college that I was able to weed out the fluff and pinpoint what made me happy which was digital media related to fashion and music.
If you’re having trouble, go back to your roots and rediscover what you used to enjoy doing when you were younger. Back in 2009, I created stop motion lyrics videos to songs and posted them on my YouTube channel. It was a hobby then but now I understand where my passion for video production and music started.
2. Read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic is the kind of book you can read over and over again, because there will always be something new to learn. It challenges the creative process and opens your mind to new ways you can create. It’s an easy read and all the chapters are short and straight to the point, so you can mark the passages that resonate with you and go back to them later when you need a pick me up.
If you don’t enjoy spending money on books then go check your local library, but this is definitely one of those books you want in your collection.
3. Keep Creating
Lastly, and most importantly is to keep creating and putting your work out there (which I learned from Big Magic). Once I learned that my true passions relate to photography and videography, I felt so disabled because I didn’t have the best camera, lens, or editing software. But honestly who cares if the camera is a little shaky or it’s not 1080 HD, all that matters is how you tell the story.
I made it my mission this summer to focus on establishing my digital portfolio and had so much fun learning new styles and discovering all the amazing things you can do in Abobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
To put the cherry on top of this sundae, I’m sharing with you all the graphic design work I did this summer. I hope they inspire you to keep putting in those hours and work on your craft.
Design for Free Press Summer Fest 2016 in Houston (Illustrator)
Low-Poly self portrait (Photoshop and Illustrator)
Mofits for 3D Design (Illustrator)
3D Design (Illustrator)
Vector Characters (Illustrator)
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!