The easiest way for me to get new inspiration is to draw from the beautiful places I've had the pleasure of visiting. The architecture, museums, foreign lands, mountains and unique landscapes inspire me to look at the world differently, especially when it comes to design.
Sometimes the hardest part of designing something new, is trying to make it fit into a certain mold, a certain known trend, or even a certain aesthetic. It can be hard when you get stuck with using your favorite fonts, colors, watercolors, or layouts. Whenever I travel I try to keep a certain eye on how they display new things, how they showcase menus, itineraries, articles. This helps me to shift my perspective, to get out of my norm and entice me to try something new.
If you look at my camera roll often you might find random photos of cafe menus, or articles I find aesthetically pleasing, not just things I did on the trip. I use my life and my world as my design canvas, always hungry and eager to learn more. Trying to flip my perspective as much as I can.
The most inspiring trip I've taken was when I lived in Germany for 3 months last year. I moved to live with my boyfriend while we waited on his USA visa to get approved. This was the most humbling experience of my life, not only for me personally, but for my designs. I was thrown out of my element, surrounded by people I could not communicate with. Most of the days I spent alone walking the magical cobblestone streets while my boyfriend (Christoph) worked.
There is something special about being alone while surrounded by people. I couldn't speak German, many couldn't understand English, so I just went about my day eager to find new art, new inspiration. I specifically remember a certain street that when the light hit the tops of the stone houses perfectly, created something so meaningful and breathtakingly so, that I will never forget these walks I took wandering through my favorite little town.
I would bring my poetry books and sketch pads to little cafes where no one could bother me, and while sipping my second or third cappuccino, enlightenment would hit me. I would begin to create and nothing could interrupt how I felt in these moments. You don't get that time here. America is made to keep you moving, constantly coming and going from one task to the next, I never had time to do this and not feel guilty. To not feel like I was taking something entirely for myself. No phones to interrupt (because international data is expensive AF), no friends randomly popping into the same cafe as me. My designs and I could just be.
Between traveling to fun German cities on the weekends, and long walks to the castle, This is what I did for three months. I created. I finished my poetry book, I created 100's of designs for myself, and I learned more and more about culture and how to let it change you.
I've had the pleasure of drawing inspiration from different magical cities and countries, Belgium, Paris, Ireland, Germany, Croatia, Amsterdam, Prague, Italy. I am so beyond blessed to experience these cultures and their lasting impact on my soul, and my designs. I guess what I am trying to say is by taking time for me to live my life I learned to see the world of design differently. And I think this can apply to anyone with a passion. Take time to just be with your passion, to love it, to feed into it, and to create the way you want to. It's good for the soul.
Get out, see the world, explore. We only have one chance to live, AND THIS IS IT.