A Reservoir of Inspiration
"When the industrial designer examines a collection of Chinese art, it doesn’t follow that his appreciation of its purity of line, its proportions, its perfect use of material, and its rhythm will dictate his next toaster or sewing-machine design. But he learns from all ages. Art and architecture and artifices are honest historians. They furnish him a reservoir of inspiration." (H. Dreyfuss)
As designers, it’s essential to always be learning and always be studying. For a designers work to inspire, they must be inspired by other works. But I’ve found that ‘liking’ something for the visual aesthetic, and truly being inspired by something are two different things. Or at least, one is much more deep, and valuable, than the other.
I’ve tried to make it a habit to take a bit of time each week to be inspired (this doesn’t negate those times where you’re inspired without planning to be…inspiration can come at any time). I don’t just pull up Dribbble and like a bunch of shots. I’m talking about taking a few hours with a few pieces of work to really dig into. Really study.
Sometimes it’s all digital inspiration, other times it’s architecture, or art, or interior design, or engineering. But the most important factor is taking the time to examine, study, and grow. I find that by looking at less, and examining more, I am more inspired and better equipped to design.
Keep your reservoir of inspiration full.