How do creativity and inspiration work


To reach for the stars

Creatives rely on inspiration when it comes to developing creative designs, concepts and designing new layouts. Sometimes, however, the best ideas are just a long time coming when you need them urgently.

In such cases, you usually need some distraction to come up with fresh ideas. In my experience, this is especially the case when you have worked through long phases on a single large project and then want to devote yourself to a new task.

Inspiration is generally understood to be an inspiration or a sudden good idea. However, this goes hand in hand with a passive attitude. Often creative people also speak of “being inspired”. But you can definitely contribute something to “being inspired”. For me, certain procedures have proven themselves to regain my creativity after stressful project phases.

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me ... going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful ... that’s what matters to me."

Steve Jobs

Paths to new inspiration

1. Focus on details

Everyone is surrounded by many things that could revitalize creativity. Most people just don't notice or pay attention to everyday things at some point. However, creative people are usually different in this regard. You know the things around you, but you have the ability to see things from a different perspective and thus rediscover them. If you are looking for inspiration, it is advisable to consciously perceive all things in the environment and to look at them anew.

2. Allow errors

Perfectionism kills creativity. That is unfortunately the case. Masterpieces are created in several steps. The evaluation and quality assurance in projects is good and important, but only at a later point in time. If you work creatively, it is more of a hindrance than of any use. Mistakes and wrong turns are simply part of creative work. You allow yourself to start with a little less than a work of art. The next step is to improve and develop the design. Perhaps one discards everything again and ultimately even goes a completely different path. Often, however, initial mistakes lead to truly extraordinary end results through certain insights. You may only use a small detail and then increase it later in the subsequent development phases. So consciously allowing yourself to make mistakes is not a bad start when inspiration is just a long time coming.

3. Creative breaks

Creativity cannot be forced. If the pressure is too great, creativity takes its leave for most people. You take a short breath and do something completely different from time to time to relax again. You can fill up your creative reserves through conscious pauses in which you consciously let analytical thinking rest. The best ideas of my life came to me when I was changing my routines.

4. Change of scenery

A change in the environment can also be a good way to let your creativity flow again. When you're in the office, you take a break and have a coffee. Walks through nature or urban areas can also work wonders. You look at skyscrapers, bridges, streets, means of transport, people, shapes, films, works of art, paintings, photographs, documentaries, websites, illustrations, comics, colors, books, magazines, street art, clouds, stars, sunsets, etc. Everything can be Be a means of inspiration. What are the people around us worried about? How can we make things even better?

5. Don't be afraid of manual labor

Some designers fear working with pen and paper as much as the devil feared holy water. You have just got used to your Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash or whatever that it is difficult to be satisfied with less. In terms of creativity, however, it makes a big difference whether you have a computer in front of you or a sheet of paper. If it is true that nature inspires, then this also applies in particular to handicraft, because it is an experience in which many senses are involved. In doing so, we free ourselves from technology and concentrate on a single topic without being distracted by 100 icons, programs, websites and emails at the same time.

6. Save ideas permanently

Often we humans have many ideas at the same time and only implement a single one in a specific project. It is therefore worthwhile to write down the good ideas before they are lost again. It definitely makes sense to store the ideas for later so that they can be found again and used at another point in time. It is therefore advisable to have a filing system in which the ideas can be stored in an organized manner for later use. Since it can never be foreseen when good ideas will penetrate our consciousness, it is best to provide for the cheapest case and take a notebook, smartphone or pen and paper with you whenever possible.


“No artist is an artist for the full twenty-four hours of his daily day without interruption; everything essential, everything lasting that he succeeds in only ever happens in the few and rare moments of inspiration. "

Stefan Zweig, great moments of mankind

Filed in: General Date: September 2, 2012 Created by Stephan Bender