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Inspiration for Creatives

What drives your passion. What is that special ingredient that sets your work apart.

It’s hard to generate ideas and creativity from within ourselves only, we need triggers and sparks to ignite those ideas. We need to be inspired.

I love my job at Varntige, I have the chance to work and collaborate with clients from all industries. Every day I walk into new jobs and different opportunities to embrace my passion, design.

But what about inspiration?

As inspiring as sitting at a desk is (I hope the sarcasm reads without hearing my tone) we all need that trigger, that spark, that drive to want to run to our computer and create or rip out that pad and draw.

I am fortunate enough to have a work environment that understands the importance of growth and development. We are encouraged to gain skills, expand our knowledge and get inspired to do better for our clients and ourselves. This year I have been lucky enough to attend design conferences and events (albeit online more than in person given the current climate) to feed that desire to be inspired.

I was able to stream the Adobe Max Conference of 2020 last month from the comfort of my living room. I listened to one of my favourite designers Stefan Sagmeister talk about techniques to generate new ideas and the amazingly hilarious Taika Waititi talk through his process ALL while eating snacks and sitting in my trackies on my couch (WIN!).

This month I watched some of the Semi-Permanent live stream. Another chance to listen to designers stories and soak up the wisdom that comes from experience. A walk through their process and thinking while they create some of New Zealand’s best design and artworks.

The best part about these offerings, they were FREE! Inspiration, encouragement and knowledge all at our fingertips for no cost but time.

Here were some of my favourite parts of these conferences:

  •  Stefan Sagmeisters simple techniques for generating ideas, we have all heard of these, were taught them or have used them but sometimes it is hard when in a structured process to go back to basics:
    • Random Input – focus on one point and expand
    • Mind Mapping – full a page with all ideas, non-censored
    • Go for a walk – clear your mind and take in your surroundings
  • CEO of Ben and Jerry’s Matthew McCarthy spoke about growing with the times (especially in the world with Covid) but staying true to your brand. Where some things have created change in a negative way, there are adaptions and growth to be made and in that is opportunity.
  • Life by Pixels, Mark Heaps had great techniques for editing photos and processing pictures in bulk in Photoshop – using ‘Layer styles’ vs adding in multiple layers and then ‘Actions’ to apply to other files.
  • Adobe released some awesome sneak peaks of what they have been working on. 2D Plus sounds incredible!! Taking 2D illustrations and being able to create perspective, shading and highlights with a click of a button instead of hours of manual illustration and scaling/skewing.
  • Taika Waititi told us not to get too comfortable, creative inspiration never comes to someone witting in a comfortable seat. He likened his movie filming to collecting ingredients for a meal, then realising in editing you should have thought about what the meal would be first.
  • As always, there are many refreshers for our favourite Adobe programmes. Lots of new ways and updated methods and tools for Photoshop and Illustrator techniques.
  • Kate Sylvester has an amazing and inspiring story. She takes us through her process and how real life and personal events have inspired her collections. She compared the times now (with lock downs and huge political and civil rights movements happening) to a movement in the beginning of her career where the creative industry exploded in New Zealand. Expression through art and design is taking place and it is easier then ever to share with the world.

If you have the opportunity to attend anything like this I highly recommend. Nourish your passion and get inspired. In the great words of Taika Waititi, try and create a little bit of chaos!



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