Working with inspiration

What inspires us in this life? What moves us, to want to be better as human beings, as professionals in our work? We all have different experiences daily, that either uplift us, or make us feel down. As my profession is in the creative field, having inspiration is not only something to feel better or want to be better. It is also that special something that makes me want to work on the project, carry it out and give my best to it. So having inspiration is absolutely essential. Creative work cannot be just done.. like paperwork, it is not something that is like science where you simply use formulas and have a correct outcome. Most of it is purely based on intuition, just feeling that this is the right layout, right combination of colors, pictures. One needs to have an eye for it, so to say.

A lot of times, when a new project is starting, I turn to other designers, to find inspiration. Just go through collection after collection of what I consider good work. There are plenty of sites out there, which display great resources. One of my personal favorites is cssmania.com. But creating something new is not just a result of copy pasting other peoples work. It gives you ideas, but not the whole picture. The whole picture comes at a completely other way. At least for me. For that, I need to have silence, concentrate on something very simple, such as washing dishes, walking outside, cooking, listening to good music (nothing angry or aggressive!), anything where my brain doesn’t need to analyze much information, but can just be silent for a moment. At that moment, the idea comes. It is probably not complete at that stage. Just an initial idea, which needs to be expressed on my screen. From there the process of changes and adjustments starts. Until I feel it is complete.

Created to be creative

Little Prince, sketch by Kertu Kelem

"Little Prince", sketch by Kertu Kelem

All human being are created to be creative. We all possess that quality, but some choose to ignore it, others excuse themselves out, because of learned inward beliefs from childhood, that they are not creative. In fact, all the things we do in our life, whether problems solving, cooking, playing with our children, figuring out a way how to make a living, anything whatsoever, we approach with a creative mind. Of course, there are more specific forms of creativity, such as some people are more visual, others possess a greater musical hearing, yet others are great at movement, dance.

Our contemporary Western-European-American education has turned the emphasis on science, numbers, formulas, proper use of grammar, etc etc and forgotten that all these subjects need creativity as well. Was Einstein not one of the greatest scientist in the world plainly due to his creative mind, ability to see beyond the rules and regulations of the current Newtonian philosophy and therefore through his creative mind bring whole new theories into life? How sad it is, that when in the 19th century, all educated people knew at least 4-5 foreign languages, could draw, play an instrument, sing.. dance, of course, have knowledge of science, how sad that in our contemporary education, all that is just forgotten..

Because the concept of creativity has now been assigned to a few “special” individuals in our society, there tends to be an aura of mysticism around it. Most people have an inward belief that the people who are successful in an creative industry, just “possess” that special talent, when in fact, probably there was a skill that was nurtured in them from childhood, and they have come to that point through a lot of hard work. In general, the understanding among the “creative” people is that great works of any kind of art are a result of a lot of hard work and training. Talent is only 10% of the package, 90% is purely work and practice. No-one is born playing an instrument. If Mozart did not have a piano at home, during his childhood, would he ever have become one of the greatest composers in the history of the humanity?

We should therefore, do our best that our children have a good starting ground for developing their creativity and their specific talents. If you see your child from early childhood not walking, nor running, but every movement for them is dance, then what else is there to do, that to give all you can that they could study dance! If you feel an urge, like you simply have to get some colors and canvas and bring that image from your head into reality, then go and buy the materials and start doing it. Forget the little voice in your head saying: “But you cannot paint.. you have never painted..” Just paint. Just dance. Just sing. Just learn an instrument! Just do it. And your whole life will be filled with beauty and meaning.