Influence vs. Inspiration
~ 03 February 2007 ~
An interested reader emailed last week, and his question was a common one:
Where do you look for inspiration when designing new sites? I am looking to re-design a personal site and I keep getting stuck - mental block and the like.
My reply went as follows:
Are you referring to “inspiration” or “influence”? If “influence”, you can find plenty of it at the many web galleries that exist today. Influence is immediate and free for the taking. If “inspiration”, this is an on-going journey, in which one continually seeks to heighten his or her awareness of design in its many shapes and forms, as well as his or her understanding of the interplay between design and the cultural, social, and economic facets of society. Inspiration is not always immediate, and it has to be earned.
Influence is cheap. Because of that, its utility is short-lived. It may even serve as little more than a platform for duplication.
Inspiration, on the other hand, comes at a price. Its utility is nurtured and harvested over time — months, even years — through personal experiences. I might even argue it’s the catalyst of true creativity.
Which are you seeking?
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