We all are problem solvers, and I believe we all have different styles for doing this. As a designer, I often need to approach these from different angles; tackling challenges from multiple perspectives always benefits the outcome. Practically, this often means distancing myself from the usual sources of inspiration for designers –blogs, designer meetups, portfolio websites or case studies.
So where do I draw my inspiration from? What’s key for me is seeing the minor details in everyday life. Whether it’s in architecture, fashion, psychology, people, nature, food or sometimes a flicker of sunlight which catches a particular detail. Inspiration is all around you; you just need to walk and take a look outside. I have to say, it's a very good reason to stop looking at your phone all the time. I know it’s a precedent of the world we live in but think twice next time when you want to check your notifications.
Without further ado, I’d like to share some examples of alternative creative sources from my life. We live in a world where everything is design related in some way. Let's start!
1. Psychology literature
Firstly,I read psychology books, and this helps me to understand people better. I like learning about behavioural psychology and it's a great opportunity to improve my skills as a User Interface (UI) Designer here at Upgrade Pack, which is a great bonus. For instance, books about starting new habits can be useful while working on building a user engagement experience. Here are some of my recommendations:
2. Broadening my network
Meeting people from different industries and learning how they think and solve their problems is very important, it provides me with insights from outside of my industry. A short time ago, I experienced this with one of my friends. She started her own brand and she was faced with managing the demands of her products, purchase planning, and finance. At the same time, I was facing increasing demands and responsibilities in my own career but listening to her solutions ignited my creative spark. I admired her calm, priority management skills and focus on strategic direction, and then I noticed that I have to change my mindset first to adapt the new things in my life. Adaptivity to the changes happening around you is a great survival tool and she was my motivation to do this. We live in a fast-moving society and listening to people makes you stop and think about life.
3. Offline creativity
I love using my hands to create something. Cooking, gardening, cake decoration, decorating tables, or doing little touches to my apartment’s interior design regularly are informal ways of home therapy for me.
Do you like playing card games or board games? I’m a big fan, especially on the weekends. They are great practice for facing different challenges, allowing you to think of new strategies for problem solving.
5. Social media
And lastly, using Instagram and Pinterest effectively and following illustrators, chefs, psychologists, brands, influencers, and fashion designers show me how different people live, how they work, what they create and the differences/similarities between them. These are from my favourites: @malikafavre, @__nitch, @minimalistbaker, @awesome.earth, @apartmenttherapy.
Look for the details around you, as it’s easy to miss the minutiae, and think about how you can blend these with your profession. Merging your out of office influences with your daily work can lead to new insights and experiences, but most of all a new way of tackling your creative problems.