Nicholas Huggins Design


How to stay inspired?

There are some weeks where I feel a sense of artistic inspiration from morning until night and I find the ability to create a lot of illustrations and think of a bunch of cool ideas with seamless ease. Other weeks however, it is a bit of a struggle to find the energy to pull out a blank canvas or to create a new file in illustrator. If this happens to you as well, I've put together a few things I find helpful to do when I'm stuck in a rut that help me find the creative energy.

1) Look at other artists/designers who are better than you. My number one source for finding and interacting with other designers is Instagram. Check out some of my favourite Instagrammers here.

2) Check art/design blogs. My favourites are This is Colossal, Design Boom and Abduzeedo. There are many others out there that are endless sources of inspiration.

3) Talk to other artists. Catch up on what your designer friends are up to; they may have some extra ideas up their sleeve or a different perspective on a project you may be working on even if they are not in the same field as you. I am an illustrator and graphic designer, yet whenever I need advice or inspiration, one of my go to's is my friend Fede who is an Industrial Designer.

4) Doodle. By simply opening a sketch book and doodling, your brain starts thinking of ideas. This is especially true if you work a lot on the computer. Taking a break and doing an actual sketch helps in the design process.

I always start with sketching.

I always start with sketching.

5) Open a book. There are so many art/design books out there that are full of ideas, you can't help but feel inspired. A few of my favourites are Things I have Learned in my Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister, Graphic Design- A New History and Pretty Much Everything by Aaron Draplin

My copy of the great book by Stefan Sagmeister

My copy of the great book by Stefan Sagmeister

6) Go for a walk. There are so many things to see outdoors, and by changing where we go, it opens our eyes to new things and ideas. 

7) Go through old work. Sometimes your old work may inspire a new project, or maybe you might find a way to improve on your past designs. Many times I have gone through an old sketch book and found an overlooked concept or idea that is relevant to something I was working on.

8) Make lists of ideas. Writing lists (even when you are not in a creative rut) helps the creative method. For every 10 things you write down if you get one good idea out of it, you will eventually have a lot of ideas stored up over time. I try to add a few ideas to my list every day, and every so often I go back to search for inspiration.

Make lists of ideas!

Make lists of ideas!

9) Take a break. Sometimes overthinking takes a toll, and it is best to just walk away from your work and relax. Let your brain do some subconscious problem solving and then attack the project with a reinvigorated energy.

10) Listen to music. Everyone has music that they like to listen to while they create work. Put on your favourite tunes and wait for the creative juices to start flowing. Click here for a song that I love to listen to when working.

Hopefully this was all super helpful and maybe you found some inspiration in the list of things that I do. If you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment!