I was recently invited by Shillington College to give a talk to its students, and I also did an interview with them over on their blog. One of the questions took a look at my personal top five places to find inspiration and enlightenment.
I found it a fun, in some ways surprising, exercise so I thought I'd share them here as well. Over recent years I've tended to look outside of the design world for my inspiration. Here are a few things that have served me well and seem to be gaining more and more praise in creative circles:
For the past 6 years I've been practising Transcendental Meditation, a technique that has literally changed my entire life. I was in a terrible place emotionally and physically back then – it came to me at the perfect time because Raw was beginning to go through a lot of change and it massively helped me go through that process with more ease. More than anything it has helped me see more clearly and chart a better course forward for my life. The Headspace App is proving to be a very popular tool incase anyone is looking to dip their toe into mindfulness.
Go see the world, fill yourself up with as much wonder as you possibly can. It will pay you back with an endless flow of new ideas. As humans, we can get stuck in a routine easily and end up going along with what everyone else is doing. Breaking that continuity and going somewhere new is a great way to clear away the emotional clutter of everyday life and recharge you ready for the next big project. You don't need to jump on a plane either, there's places just round corner that are waiting to be explored!
When I was younger I was never much of a reader, it didn't really interest me but for the last 10 years or so I've become a real bookworm. I find it's a great way to switch off from the day and plug into something that either expands my knowledge or helps to wind me down before I go to bed. One thing that has been a big plus to is listening to audiobooks, especially when I'm driving. It's a great use of time and makes traffic jams that little bit more bearable! The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is a must read for anyone looking to find smarter ways to work.
We visited Bali a few years ago and I decided to keep a journal of all the things we got up too. It was a great way to reflect on all the good things that went on, but it was also a great way to express how I was feeling. Since then it's become a daily occurrence, and it's up there with meditation as a tool for me to turn off from all the noise of the outside world and reflect on what's happening in my life. I've found though journalling I've been able to connect into previously untapped creativity, a place where plenty of new ideas have been born!
This might not sound like a place of inspiration, but I believe most of us have just got way too much stuff in our lives (I certainly did). Stuff that is not only filling up our physical spaces but also cluttering up our minds too and preventing us from seeing clearly and putting the blocks on those projects you've been meaning to start. I found by letting go of a whole bunch of stuff I barely used, I've begun to find the space and time to focus on the things that really matter to me. Anyone interested in this, I'd highly recommend reading Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.
So there we have it, the five things that have helped me to either feel inspired, or given me the headspace to be creative. I'll be writing a more in-depth post on the impact meditation has had on my life and to my creative output.