It’s easy to get sucked down the ‘rabbit hole of inspiration’, as Bri and Katie of Designlovefest note, gathering more and more inspiring examples and never making anything of our own.
I have mixed feelings about seeking inspiration.
On one hand, I worry that I’m taking in too much content, losing my originality in the onslaught of media I digest every day. Last month, I put myself on a mild media diet, slimming down my RSS feed to a few essentials. I find myself missing that easy dose of inspiration, and desperately looking for something to read or look at I’m addicted to junk food for the brain.
On the other hand, how can we create without responding to something? Creations are our interpretations and commentary on the world. No one works in absolute isolation. There is no escaping the influence, positive, negative, or neutral, of your environment and your community. Our thoughts are guided and shaped by what we experience and what we need to respond to.
And yet, we need not respond to another person’s creation. There are different types of inspiration.
Just like there are primary and secondary historical sources, there are primary and secondary sources of inspiration.