It is very common these days to read something like this on every design challenge:
“Use these samples as reference and inspiration only, do not copy these”. Sometimes it can get really complicated to design something following a reference but without still copying everything exactly.
The lack of inspiration is something that affects everyone who “creates” something from scratch like writers, music composers, painters, architects, or even us as graphic designers. So, being on top of the latest design trends is a practice that can really make a difference between copying someone else’s artwork or creating your own.
I’m going to share with you my top 3 personal favorite resources and activities to spark creativity.
1) Get outside
This is by far the best advice to bring some new fresh air to your ideas. No other online resource can be compared with going outdoors and seeing an amazing sunset, walking across some gorgeous green forest, breathing the salty ocean air or hearing the birds singing. Whenever you feel stuck, take a break and go outside for a couple of hours, or a weekend (why not?) and get yourself disconnected from the world. In return you will see how your brain will start working as a brand new engine.
What is the best way to see the latest on design trends, especially on web and apps? Exploring. Keep your mobile applications updated, and download and test the latest mobile applications, especially those on trends. Check online websites from big brands of any field, even better if they are global. Brands like Adidas, Apple, Gucci, Ford, BBC, Nike, etc. tend to be on top in the matter of design trends for their websites and applications. Big companies always invest a lot of money on research and highly qualified resources to design and develop great portals and mobile apps.
Writing keywords in Google such like “Web Design Trends 2019” or “App Design inspiration” will show you plenty of resources to see the latest on the design world.
3) See what others are doing
We live in a very globalized and connected world so it is really easy to see what other designers are doing across the world. It is very interesting to notice how designers from Europe, Asia and North America can create amazing solutions for very common problems. Features like: Splash Screens, Form Validations, e-commerce workflows, etc., can get a lot of diverse approaches by designers from different countries.
My favorite websites to see other people’s work are:
Explore all categories, do not get limited only by web or mobile apps. Explore 3D design, painting, animations, logo design, flyers, etc. Fill your brain with colors!
This can also be applied to music and movies. I personally really love to see the latest movie posters, so when I go to the movie theater I like to dedicate some time to walking around the hall seeing all the posters for the upcoming films; or when listening to music on Spotify I do love the see the album covers for the latest music. Sometimes I even save my favorites 🙂
As you can see, all these practices and activities are not that complex to follow; we live in a color world, let’s not get limited to four walls and a computer display. Finally, keeping ourselves happy, motivated and healthy will make our creativity explode on every new project we face!
You will see how you will be creating more and copying less. Someday your creations will serve as “inspiration” to someone else, and why not? 🙂