finding the inspiration: books, books, books…

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14/04/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

Designers and Books website

When you are down in the inspiration-doldrums, where can you turn for a fresh wind of creative spark? What can get your design juices flowing or your creative engine humming?

Often our inspiration comes from other people. What lights our fire could result from another’s artwork or music, life story or experience. The internet has been marvellous in opening up the world for us to discover all kinds of information and inspiration. However, one “old fashioned” way of consuming the output/tastes/worldview/opinions/experiences of others is through books.

Having a library on hand – at home – is the ultimate in immediate inspiration, but we shouldn’t look past the wealth of FREE inspiration that can be found at your local library! Since re-discovering the public library system (only a handful of years ago) it is now my primary source of learning and inspiration. I can walk out of the library with a stack of books that equates to the cost of a training seminar or art workshop, and I have paid nothing. I can read all about international artists and their work, their techniques and life lessons, and have travelled no further than the library just down the road.

Artistic inspiration need not come solely from books about art. Your next painting or song or cake decoration might just be inspired by a book you just read about an intrepid traveller or the beautiful food photography in a celebrity chef’s cookbook. l get a lot of my painting inspiration from reading the Bible, from its poignant phrasing and vivid imagery.

An interesting project – titled Designers & Books – has been initiated, “publishing lists of books that esteemed members of the design community identify as personally important, meaningful, and formative—books that have shaped their values, their worldview, and their ideas about design.“. Whether or not you take their recommendations and try some of these books for yourself, the idea is a good one.

Here’s to rediscovering the wonderful world of of the written word as an inspiration source. Onwards and upwards!

This post is part of Sarah’s “Finding the Inspiration” series. Click here for more inspired ideas!

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