Working in the design industry creates challenges not everyone can relate to. When your job requires you to constantly be innovative, creative, and up with current trends, how do you stay inspired? Everything already exists in some form - what you have to decide on is how you're going to change that thing and make it new.
Similar to writer's block and being in a creative rut, there are steps you can take to stay constantly inspired. After taking some time I've made a list of tactics I practice on the daily that keep me constantly filled with ideas. Are they always the best ideas? Maybe not right now, but they help me decide how to move forward or give me something to work with in the future.
Surround yourself in an inspiring environment. How are you going to discover ideas or be inspired if you aren't emersed in a creative environment? Go to a museum or art show, visit some of your favorite places in nature or research your favorite topics. Go to the place where your mind is stimulated the most - if that place is the graffiti on a wall you see during your walk home, so be it. I can attest to how challenging it can be trying to get inspired within the same 4 walls you are in every day. Get out of your comfort zone. If you're afraid to do something in life, that fear will follow you into the design process.
When you're stuck on a task like refreshing a current design or template you work in often, try to look at things with fresh eyes. Think backwards, try different iterations. If you started on one part of a design or project last time, mix it up and begin with the step you ended on. When your brain is wired to complete a task a certain way, changing the order you do so is bound to spark some new ideas.
Pay attention to things others don't. To stay constantly inspired, you need to look at the details in every situation. Forget the big picture, as a creative you need to be able to notice the tiniest details while considering the rest. Think beyond what you're seeing - how was that created? What is the purpose or message? Why did they make those decisions? When you pay attention on a deeper level than most, you're setting yourself up for success when the time comes to create.
Make a note as soon as you notice something. Whether you're scrolling on Instagram, taking a walk in the park, or you wake up after a vivid dream - write any ideas you have down somewhere. It may not be a complete thought at this point, but it has the potential to develop into something later. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into my notes on my phone to write down things I dream about, or that I screenshot on Instagram but forget why. Something you discover now that seems minuscule can be the best idea you've had in the future.
Truly there is no right or wrong when it comes to ways you can stay constantly inspired - what matters is knowing yourself, knowing when your creative juices are flowing and recognizing it, and knowing when to look deeper. I and my team practice all of these things and encourage each other constantly. We have creative freedom every day with work and we promise our clients we are at the forefront of the industry so... we do everything we can to live up to it!