One of the greatest things I’ve struggled with as a designer is establishing a clear style. I see so many things I like and it all can kind of get muddled together in the things I create.
As an exercise in self-realization, I decided to list all the things I really, truly like. Not because someone else likes them, but because I am inspired by and drawn to them. If you are a creative, I’d highly encourage you to do the same. It can be a simple, but profound exercise in finding your creative voice and putting together a puzzle of pieces that uniquely belong to you.
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1. A WELL-COMPOSED PHOTO
I could spend hours (and I do) dreaming up shoot concepts, staging the perfect flat lay or curating my Pinterest boards. I am so inspired by a creatively composed photo that thinks outside of the box.
2. WORKING ON MY OWN SCHEDULE
In the last year or so, I’ve realized that this is a non-negotiable. I will work as hard as I need to for as long as I need to in order to build a life that allows me freedom over my time & schedule.
3. BEING ORGANIZED
Strangely enough, staying organized greatly boosts my creative process. If there’s discourse in my life (whether it’s the space I’m working in or the icons on my desktop) it’s harder for me to do good work.
4. SEEING NEW PLACES
I think seeing new places is the ultimate source of inspiration for me. Exploring landscapes, cultures, architecture and having new experiences brings me LIFE. It is my favorite mental place to create from.
5. LISTENING TO PEOPLE’S STORIES
There is nothing like the rush of coming away from a rich conversation over coffee, am I right? I am filled with so much energy when I hear someone’s story and the greatness God has placed on their life.
6. FASHION TRENDS
This seems like a superficial like. But when I really sit down to think about what motivates and inspires me, fashion and style are some of them. Fashion largely inspires my designs and I really enjoy integrating the essence of styles I like into the brands I create. You can learn a lot about a person from the way they dress and it’s part of my process when discovering styles my clients like.
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7. GOOD DESIGN
This is kind of a no-brainer. But I spend HOURS pouring over magazines & print ads when I’m in need of some inspiration. I love seeing what creative ways other designers communicate their messages. Good design is also what attracts me to most of the products I buy. All I can say is, branding is everything. And I appreciate companies that sell me on an experience with their beautiful design.
8. MINIMAL TEXT
It is constantly my mission to eliminate text. The less text you have in a design, the more you can play with it and enhance the design’s personality.
9. CREATIVE TYPOGRAPHY
Recently, I’ve really loved experimenting with different kinds of typography. So much can be implied by the typography style. This is an area of design I focus on and continue to spend time learning about and crafting my skill.
I love texture. Texture in the fabrics I wear, texture in the textiles I use in my home, texture in the pieces I design. Texture adds so much dimension and I’m obsessed.
This is a newer discovery, but essential nonetheless. And when I say shadows, I primarily mean in photography. It’s been such an inspiring element to play with in my shoots and I love the subtle detail they add.
12. DREAMING TOO BIG
Ok, this is something I’ve always known about myself. I’ve got big dreams. And I really believe I can acheive them. I will work my butt off for however long it takes to grab that giant dream and watch it come to life before my eyes. And I strongly suggest you do the same.
If you’ve struggled at all with comparison, I’d highly recommend this little exercise. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of imitating the people around you and forgetting the things that make you YOU. Write these things down and refer back to them when you’re feeling lost in your creative pursuits. And ADD to the list as you grow! The world needs YOU. It already has everyone else.