I love quotes. I love watching TED talks. I love to be inspired.
But I also love to learn. I love to iterate.
Iteration is now my favorite design word (yes I have favorite design words). My first version of any type of creation is usually not that good, but I am starting to care less about them. I want to learn more about the formal process of typography, animation, illustration, and web design, but I don’t need to be inspired by them. What inspiration will do is get me excited, but leave me with the same skills that I had before. I feel as if I “appreciate” these areas of design instead of getting inspired by them.
There is nothing inherently wrong with inspiration, it’s just how people use it. We look at videos, quotes, read articles to pump us up, and then we go back to those same resources when we lose that momentary inspiration we had. Maybe inspiration is already inside us? I mean just think about it, when you are inspired, it is something you recognize right? Someone overcoming a challenge is not necessarily unique, but you can be inspired by that because you understand where that person is coming from.
We don’t need inspiration to work. We all know how to do it. But I feel we might need to learn how best to work. I want to learn about the history of graphic and web design, not to be inspired, but to better understand the field that I want to become a professional in. I know the basics, but I want to continue learning to become better. That means doing tutorials, reading books to learn new techniques, and looking at source code to figure out how they did that particular shadow or gradient, etc.
I am sure we have built an inspiration well or two, but I believe that the best form of inspiration is to start creating yourself. And if what I said doesn’t make that much since, I will be a hypocrite and use a quote/passage from a baller designer named Chuck Close:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and somthing else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”