For many creative people, “being inspired” is a spontaneous gift, but professionals must make inspiration happen daily.
At the Creative Week conference earlier this month in New York, Jordan Crane of Wolff Olins, Rob Trostle of Mother New York, Joe Stewart of Huge and Natasha Jen of Pentagram shared strategies for finding inspiration in a panel moderated by Cliff Kuang, editor of Fast Company’s Co.Design.
The panel discussed how writers and content strategists can find material to develop story ideas and inject new formats into their work. Here are some of the findings:
1. Steal from human behavior
Digital media has only been around for so long. We must look outside of digital for inspiration or else we’ll continue rehashing the same ideas. Observe nature and human interaction, and consider how it can speak into to what you are writing.
2. Meet with a group
When people get together they can often find solutions organically. Nobody is in full control of where the conversation will end up. Take advantage of each other’s imagination.
3. Look at collections
The trend on the web is curation, as can be seen on site like Pinterest. But a merchant like FAB is also highly curated by someone with great taste. Collections offer something you won’t find on Google – an answer when you don’t know the question.
4. Do some user research
If you are designing for a company that manufactures granola bars, go to the store and watch the people who buy the product. You’ll develop a greater sense of who your audience is, and what they might like.
5. Talk to people — Any people
You’ll find yourself bouncing ideas and concepts off others and being able to see an immediate reaction – that joke you weren’t sure was funny might make it into your next article if it’s a hit with friends.