Lately, I’ve been getting really stuck on my design projects. How do you find inspiration?
Most creative people experience this at some point! There’s no sure way of getting out of a creative block, but many methods have been attempted over time. Brian Eno developed oblique strategies to generate new ways of approaching a subject. Ellen Lupton wrote about this guide from the 70s that contained exercises for creative thinking. If Einstein was stuck on a problem, he would hold heavy steel balls before drifting off to sleep – awakening suddenly when the balls clacked on the floor, usually coming up with new inspiration. I think the trick is to totally shift your current way of working – act on your worst impulses, relocate to a different workspace, go outside and have a conversation with someone, etc. It’s always good to keep a database of your favorite project references, so you can identify patterns of thinking in what you’re drawn to the most. Don’t be over-critical when you start working; try every idea before dismissing it. You’ll probably find the most inspiration in the circumstances you create for yourself.