Keeping fresh


New Member
Hi all,

I've been a graphic designer for 10 years, worked in the same design agency for 7, as well as doing freelance work. I'm just wondering how you other experienced designers and freelancers make sure you're keeping your work fresh and where you get your inspiration from? I love my design agency but finding it hard to keep inspired and I don't want to just look for another job to move sideways to one that wouldn't necessarily be different (though a change may do me good). I'm wanting to learn new things but not sure what to invest in (eg. Learning web as I am just design for print at the mo). I read creative arts mag and try to keep up to date with adobe programs/online tutorials etc. just wondering where others got their inspiration?
“Good artists copy, great artists steal. " quote from Picasso.

I'm sure none of us actually steal... but one can get inspiration from seeing other peoples work, from noticing how people put different colours together, how nature puts different colours together, neat little touches.

I keep a book/bag of bits I like/ photos etc. I have also started watercolour painting (I try and do one everyday) - very quick, very imprecise to break away from the exacting nature of working on a computer. It's great fun - some are better than others and they only take 20/30 minutes. Just keep looking at art and nature... and other peoples work!!
I try and change things up every now and again with regards to my graphic and web designs, try and find a subject matter that normally you would have no interest in or even better something you actually dislike, then try and works some designs around it. push yourself into areas you don't normally move towards and it can be quite inspiring. One of the reasons I climb is because sometimes it scares the hell out of me, but a good scare every now and then is good for you, it keeps you on your toes!
I experiment with other mediums and formats when I can. I often dabble with 3D modelling programs such as Cinema4D, and I'm currently working on a couple of ideas for websites with a friend, mainly so we can both learn HTML 5/CSS3 and responsive design. He's also experimenting with WebGL with the aim of doing something 3D inside a web browser. More skills means more possibilities for fresh approaches to work.