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4 Ways to Find Creative Design Inspiration

If you’re looking for some creative inspiration in your life, it might be time to try something new. Creativity thrives on novelty. If you’re continually relying on the same routines, stimuli, and habits, you’re eventually going to run out of ideas.


Conjuring Up Creativity

Every person with a working brain has the capacity for creativity. It would even be fair to say that being creative is part of what makes you human.

Designer Kelly Morr explains it like this: “Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.”

Creativity makes the world go ‘round. It’s one of those things that we all have, but only certain people utilize. It’s a variable force that comes and goes depending on how it’s nurtured. If you want to think creatively, you have to put yourself in a position to do it.

Here are some outside-the-box ideas for conjuring up creativity when it doesn’t come naturally:

Spend Time in Nature

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas, just four days spent disconnecting from technology and being surrounded by nature can improve professional performance, creativity, and problem-solving by 50 percent.

“There’s a growing advantage over time to being in nature,” says Ruth Ann Atchley, the lead researcher on the study. “We think that it peaks after about three days of really getting away, turning off the [mobile/cell] phone, not hauling the iPad and not looking for Internet coverage. It’s when you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment that you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works.”

The good news is that you don’t have to get away for three or four days to enjoy the benefits that nature has to offer. Even a 30-minute walk on a nearby hiking trail can help you conjure up some creative thoughts and new ideas.

Go Ring Shopping

This might sound like a really odd piece of advice, but trust us. There’s immense power in studying other types of design that exist outside of your area of expertise. This includes jewelry design (but also extends to things like painting, sculpture, architecture, etc.).

Diamonds and engagement rings are excellent subjects to consider and evaluate. They use different materials and unique shapes. And you’ll find inspiration in the way the light refracts and sparkles off the diamond. In this case, the bigger the diamond is, the better. We recommend studying 5 carat engagement rings for a couple of hours. Make notes of what you see.


Research shows that exercise sparks creative thought. In one study, participants with active lifestyles prove to be more creative than those with more sedentary habits and behaviors. However, you can also enjoy immediate benefits. In other words, all it takes is a quick jog or walk around the block to start thinking more creatively. For best results, experts recommend getting 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. (Ideally, do it first thing in the morning or in the middle of the day.)

Work in a New Environment

There’s a direct connection between your physical surroundings and your mental state. The more comfortable you get with your workspace, the less likely you are to spark creative thoughts and ideas. By switching things up, you can encourage new and unique thoughts.

If you have the flexibility to work in different locations, take advantage of this opportunity. One day you might want to work from home, while another day you find a new coffee shop to work from. Another day, it might be a nearby park with WiFi.

If your employer requires you to work out of the same physical office each day, you may find it valuable to occasionally shift the design or layout of your office. Try moving your desk to a different place in the room every couple of weeks to change your perspective. This keeps your brain from getting too comfortable (which hinders creativity).

Where Will You Find Inspiration?

Interestingly enough, creativity often springs from the most unlikely of sources. Whether it’s a quiet wilderness trail, a posh jewelry store, or an old treadmill at the gym, inspiration is everywhere. You just have to put yourself in a position to find it.