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How inspiration strikes and ideas spark

Ideas are the currency of the creative industry. So what sparks them, and how does inspiration strike? To give you a leg up in the New Blood Awards, we asked the people coming up with enviable ideas time and time again, just how they do it. Think of it as inspiration on how to get inspired.

So. How do you have ideas?

I like the classic ways, like a good-old mind map. Do it quickly, don’t judge yourself too much or think you have to wait for a great idea to write it down – just get it all down and build on it. Come at the brief from a different perspective, or think about it in a different way. A differentt start point is always good to make sure you've really stretched your thinking and not just come up with similar ideas.

– Chloe Templeman, Creative Diector at DesignBridge

You're not going to believe this, but I honestly get my best ideas in the shower at the gym. If you saw the state of me you'd question how often I actually am at the gym. But it's true. I should really go to the gym more.

– Glenn Kitson, owner of The Rig Out

Creativity is often a team sport – you can be a creative rockstar but if you’re not supported by an amazing team, that idea is hard to bring to life. I love nothing more than collaborating with my team to come up with ideas and solutions.

Pip Jamieson, Founder of The Dots

Where do you look for inspiration?

At DesignBridge, we try to do project kick-offs outside work to really get people in the zone as a team. If we can we go to where the product is made, talk to the people who own and love the brand, or do research in person - it’s amazing where inspiration can come from. It’s too easy nowadays to rely on the internet for divine inspiration to come to you. Get out there!

– Chloe

How does inspiration help your process?

Well, it's the creative process – research & inspiration. Development of ideas. Refinement & craft. You have to dig deep into the problem at the beginning and find that wee gem of an idea to spring board into something big. A truth you can then develop and craft into something beautiful. Feed your eyes and your senses and creative things start to happen. 

– Chloe

Is there a line to be drawn between influence and copying?

Our ideas often stand on the shoulders of those that come before,  but unless you’re slightly scared of putting your idea out into the world, then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough - or you’re just copying someone else!

– Pip

Where do ideas come from?

I used to worry I'd use up all my good ideas and one day run out! But it doesn't seem to work like that. Being a creative person means you're continually inspired by everything you see and always thinking of new ideas and sketching down random thoughts when they come to you. I love that fear when you first get a brief and you think you don’t have any ideas, then you just start and somehow the ideas come and in the end you always crack it. Ideas come from everywhere and anything. Your mind stores things up, that illustrator you love, the books you’ve read, the thing that person once said, that sign you walked past and clocked, and an idea can hit you at any time.

– Chloe

What headspace do you need to be in to have ideas?

I'll get a brief in and chat to people about it, talk it over with the people I work with, digest it. The answer is usually within the brief itself.

– Glenn

Where better to seek inspiration than a brief? Check out the 2021 New Blood Awards challenges, and when that big idea comes to you, make sure you enter it.

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