Finding Inspiration In New Places

Inspiration

I’ve been in London almost a month, and I’ve barely unpacked my camera. I’ve settled into my flat, successfully navigated the Underground to make it to my fashion photography courses, and even managed to make some friends and go out with them. But I haven’t been taking any photos.

At first, I was getting a bit exasperated with myself. I’m a photographer in London and I can’t find anything to photograph? What’s wrong with me? But sometimes when you are in a brand new place, it can be overwhelming. I haven’t had any big ideas for conceptual shoots yet, and at first, that freaked me out. I wondered, where had the inspiration gone?

It’s not that I wasn’t interested or inspired; actually, it was quite the opposite. I’ve been going to art galleries–Tate Modern, The Royal Academy, Bjork Digital at Sommerset House. I was being inspired, I was just overwhelmed. Sometimes your headspace can get so full of absorbing what’s around you or being busy with routine tasks that it can feel like there isn’t any room for creativity or inspiration.

I often find that when I’m in need of an inspiration increase, it’s because I haven’t been giving enough attention to working on creative projects. While some things just have to be done during the day–work, cooking dinner, answering emails, binge watching Stranger Things— I think it’s important to carve out some time to focus on your creativity. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of time. Take ten minutes before bed and sketch or write. Allow yourself one hour in a coffeeshop to sip tea and brainstorm. Use a lunch break to collaborate with coworkers. Share and discuss ideas. Take a walk with no distractions. Leave your phone at home and look at the amazing world around you.

Dream, ponder, create. Let yourself think of ideas, even if they are terrible. Especially if they are terrible. Start somewhere, because you can build off that to find better and more cohesive ideas. See a play, or take a yoga class to clear your head. It’s all about your mindset. You are uniquely you, and you have the imagination to do it. You just need to refocus and revitalize your creative energy and vision.

Other ways I combat the creativity gap: organize. Keep a list of ideas, mood boards, photo samples, drawings and snippets of inspiration from anywhere. I take pictures of spaces in restaurants, billboards, even just people walking down the street. Cut out visually interesting pieces from magazines or newspapers. Designspiration is a great website that I use to get the wheels turning in my head.

Most importantly, give yourself a break, and realize that mental inspiration blocks are pretty common with creatives. Inspiration can be found all around us; it just takes time to process and interpret. Just be patient, keep going, and be open to letting yourself absorb the world around you. If you are mindful in those ways, I promise that inspiration will follow.

One thought on “Finding Inspiration In New Places

  1. This is relatable! I go through life stages filled with constant surges of effortless inspiration, and at other times I feel creatively dead or I need to make a lot of extra mental effort to give birth to ideas. In my case, everything can influence this in some way, although not always in a logical or obvious way: the location, job, environment, weather, the mood I wake up in or how it’s influenced by people around me. For instance you mentioned yoga and chilling out in a coffee shop as inspiration catalysts, but sometimes I felt quite inspired to create when I was in the middle of a foreign chaotic city! Other times, on the contrary, I was overwhelmed like you in the same situation, but in a nice way; in a sense I feel you can be happy and inspired to absorb everything, but it’s not conducive to actually creating something you find precious or dear.
    I believe London can be particularly overwhelming, because there is so much going on. I’m also moving there in September. Do you live on your own or in house share? I’m much more inspired when I live on my own, which is why I’ve been trying to find a studio flat to move into somewhere in Zone 1 or 2 or around the centre but it’s difficult price-wise. I don’t know if I should compromise on the distance and find a studio flat somewhere further away or relinquish my preference for living alone.

    All the best!

    Like

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