What Inspires You?

inspire Where did the greats like Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Rembrandt draw their inspiration from? It's hard for me to imagine being that we live in the age of computers, where there are no limits to what we can find. Especially inside the design community where there is a huge playing field of resources available for all our inspirational needs.

But how much is too much?

Personally, I think we've already crossed that line and are now left to wade through all the muck. All of these inspirational blogs are only hindering us from creating something truly original.

Take a look at Shephard Fairey for example. He started out making "Andre the Giant Has A Posse" flyers and stickers. From there he took the stencil art world by storm. And we all remember his Obama campaign poster that gained him national (even global) attention. But how many rip-offs have we seen of his Obama poster? I'm not saying that it is wrong to be inspired by another artist. But I am saying that we shouldn't set the bar so low as to copy someone else's work and be proud of it.

Dare To Imagine

So is it so hard to imagine that maybe the classic artists, the greats, were able to paint, design and craft magnificent pieces of artwork without having to look at hundreds of others work? Maybe there's something to be learned from a life without computers. Where people actually interacted with one another and had discussions face-to-face instead of on facebook. That's why I love meeting up for a drink with friends to talk shop or finding local meetup groups that share my interest. Or even taking my dogs to the park for that matter. Just getting outside and communicating with other people is so refreshing.

We need to be more creative in the ways we get inspired. I don't want to compare myself to others whose work is amazing and feel like giving up. I'm sure the people behind those great pieces of art/design didn't make it just to make the rest of us jealous. But instead did it from a place of passion and wanting to push the envelope. And I bet if you talked with any of those designers that inspire you they would tell you to do work that is original and that you can be proud of.

I think true inspiration is a gift that's given to us. Some have called it a Muse, others have called it drugs, but I think it's the One who created us that imparts it to us.

Originally posted on on February, 05 2009