Welcome back to our monthly series Ask Angella, where we do exactly that.
If you’ve ever had a potentially sensitive creative question, we want you to throw it our way so that we can hand it over to Angella: our resident art writer, expert, and all-around kind, funny and wise human being. Here’s the question we’ll tackle this month:
“What can I do to find fresh inspiration this season?”
Summer is officially here and with it comes warmer days and, if you’re lucky, time off. With vacation or staycation days comes the chance to travel or to do something new. But you needn’t travel someplace exotic to gain inspiration. Studies on neurology show that inspiration is literally all in your head: it’s a motivational response in your brain that compels you to bring your ideas to fruition. Finding ideas aren’t a matter of happenstance, you won’t be struck with an idea out of the blue (though it happens!). You have the power to generate inspiration in your day to day but when your brain sees the same things over and over again it’s less likely to be stimulated. Here are some summer ideas to shake it up and find fresh inspiration.
Take a hike (or just a walk)
What’s beyond your apartment? Sometimes just getting outside your daily routine means going outside and walking around. Try going to a different part of town without using your GPS or phone and navigate by intuition or whim. Spontaneity jarrs the mind awake when you’re forced to think on your feet. Just seeing someplace different, a new street or a storefront, will generate sparks of genius.
On your way to somewhere else
Ah, public transportation. Oddly enough, I’ve done some of my best work on the bus and subway. There’s something about being in motion that helps get the mind rolling. If you have a car, go for a drive. A day trip to a faraway-ish museum or a national park is an inexpensive and easy way to shake up your week.
Old magazines or books
As the saying goes, they don’t make them the way they used to. Garage sales, library liquidations and antique and thrift stores are jam-packed full of weird junk. When I’m bored I have a habit of going to the thrift store and just wandering around, looking. Similarly, mom n’ pop markets have shelves full of colorful bottles, funky labels and printed tins with imagery so unexpected they may just knock you into a great new idea.
Plain ol’ silence
In our distraction-saturated world, staring into space is becoming a novel activity. What better a place to do it then out in nature? Leave your phone at home and head to the nearest natural destination whether that’s the beach, the mountains, the desert or just your local park. Lay back and look at the clouds. Let yourself think about whatever you want—let your mind wander and see where it takes you.