We love the feeling when an idea strikes when a concept suddenly seems new, engaging, bold, and even risky. Who doesn’t? Usually, when the moment arises it unlocks all kinds of new paths. Projects grow faster taking direction a moment ago wasn’t even an option. That’s our definition of inspiration. Eventually magic fades and the feeling goes away, or so it seems. We are not sure how to get it back, but this is our humble, honest approach.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
One of the most prolific artists of the century author of 50,000 pieces and a proud member of the selected group of genius artists who didn’t live and die poor. Maybe that’s why Picasso's words on this specific subject are so powerful.
As creative people, our daily task is to start with a blank page and end it with a NOT blank page. As years went by we repeatedly surrendered or subscribed to the concept that in order to meet deadlines ideas sometimes need to be forced, tweaked revisit, or even stolen. It is painful but it works, pressure sometimes makes your mind dig further looking for answers, and despair sees a connection where you didn’t before. The creative field builds a mysticism around this idea as well as the long late nights at the agency, but we prefer another interpretation regarding hard work. Consistency and the art itself of mastering our own craft. Making the work every single day, getting better and better pushing through horrible sketches that sometimes feel like a waste of time, but cutting through the clutter of raw material you can find the apex of something you don’t completely hate, admissible even, it could be small fragile and amorphous yet, but it shines, isn’t that inspiration? It caught you working.
On the other hand…
“Il Dolce Far Niente”
Italian saying: Enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing.
Italians, are arguably the most inspired folks on earth. Italy is the birthplace of Renaissance, baroque music, sonatas, exquisite cuisine, some of the most powerful and sophisticated brands on earth, and of course burrata. All that said the most important work of art they mastered is the work-life balance; napping while being the 8th biggest economy in the world it’s just brilliant, bravo.
In our experience, making the work, as we stated, is crucial but taking a break is as important. On many occasions we find ideas or ideas find us when we are not thinking about the brief, the problem, or even the subject. “Think about it deeply, then forget it,” Said Don Draper, and seems about right. Changing the scenario, relaxing, doing something else, or literally nothing at all, and getting away from the computer do the trick for us when we feel stuck. It feels counterintuitive when we are dealing with a deadline and anxiety may play a part but doing nothing sometimes is the best preamble for doing something: no TikTok, no Twitter, no computer, good old boring nothing, the Italian way.
One more thing...
“Creativity isn't magic; it happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing creations”
“Everything is a remix” is the name of a four-part video series in which the author claims that the ultimate driver of progress in the arts, technology, and society is borrowing from others. Don’t know if we entirely agree but picking other creators’ brains and taking a look at their art and process definitely helped us over the years. The concept that ideas are not fresh or really new somehow takes some of the pressure from us and helps to keep nourished with any form and kind of art or design.
Here are our latest sources of inspiration:
- Los Llanos, Federico Falco
- Poeta Chileno, Alejandro Zambra
- La Sal, Adriana Riva
- Just Piano / FKJ
- Private Life
- Capitan Fantastic
- Stranger than Fiction
- Normal People
- Design Matters, Debbie Millman
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- WTF with Marc Maron
- Alison Roman
- Claire Saffitz
- Ali Slagle
- Paula Scher - Maps
- Mark Rothko
- Sebastian Curi
- Hola Maybe