Inspiration, inspiration everywhere (keep sucking it all in)

The answers are found in the least likely places

Be a sponge. A great big, beautiful sponge. The bigger and soaky-uppier you are, the better a Designer / Copywriter / Creative Thinker you’ll be.

Most people slide into a groove and cling onto it for dear life. Fish Fridays. One glass of Chardonnay every night; two on Fridays. Underpants under overpants. Sucking on the soggy corner of life’s comfort blanket.

Routine and systems make us feel safe. But safe ain’t where the best creative ideas hang out. At dollop, we find inspiration in anything and everything. Even grey paint, tax returns and Quinoa can spark the biggest bing-bong light bulb moments.

The other day, we had a chinwag about inspiration over several frothy flagons of ale by the fireplace. And here’s what came out of the session – a somewhat eclectic inspo mix that’s firing our creative cylinders right this moment:

Keep fit dollops

Out and about in Brighton

Swapping the Wi-Fi for a wander in the wild really straightens the suspenders. There’s something about being ‘out there’ that unboggles the brainbox and gets them juices-a-flowin’. The park, the promenade, the Royal Pavilion, round the bins at the back of PRYZM – you name it, we’ve yomped every glorious inch of brilliantly bonkers Brighton.

Running

Not exactly breaking records, but carving up the South Downs at enough of a pace to at least break a sweat. Running unblocks the unblockable and cranks-up the uncrankable. Nature, ozone, getting lost in the moment – the perfect antidote to square eyes and a flattened fundament.

Skateboarding

OK, we’re not 15 anymore, but kreative kids never really grow up. We may not be getting much big air these days, but we’re still drooling over skateboard graphics from the 80’s and flicking through back issues of Thrasher magazine.

Tai Chi and Qigong

The ancient physio-psycho-philosophico-martial-artio-religio-medico art of equilibrium. Laid down in the 13th Century and by a succession of Taoist masters, this is what happens when generations of people dedicate themselves to something they believe in. To put it another way, ‘welcome to the next stage of human evolution’. Or, to put it another another way, ‘Xu, Hoo, Her, Si, Chui, Xi’.

Culture and philosophy dollops

Five mantras for life

Rik Mayall (R.I.P) was a very funny man and in our book, an unsung philosopher. Here are his five mantras for life:

1) All men are equal therefore no one can ever be your genuine superior.

2) It is your future. It is yours to create. Your future is as bright as you make it.

3) Change is a constant of life. So you must never ever lose your wisdom.

4) If you want to live a full and complete human life, you have to be free. Freedom is paramount.

5) Love is the answer. If you’ve not seen Rik’s speech on receiving his Honorary Doctorate from the University of Exeter, you probably need to. We particularly like the bit where he says, “…go out there and have a f***ing good time”. We love ya Rik.

Zen stories

Need a new perspective? Need your awareness expanding? Well, may we recommend Zen and the art of Jackanory. Google the one about the farmer who said “good luck, bad luck, who knows”, or the one about “not painting legs on a snake”. Simple-pimple, gripping-pipping and good for the soul.

Mum

We love Mums in general (what a job!), but Dave’s Mum in particular is a massive source of inspiration. Dave’s Mum was diagnosed with MS when Dave was three. Over the years she lost mobility and her independence, but never worried, whinged or wimped out. When she couldn’t walk anymore, she became an electric wheelchair rally driver. When she couldn’t paint anymore, she read poetry. When she couldn’t read anymore, she listened to audio books. And we reckon that’s what heroes are made of.

Nippers

If you want to learn how to answer life’s impossible questions, have kids. “Why is there a moon?” “Why don’t whales have eyebrows?” “What does ‘you’re doing my head in’ mean, Daddy?” Everything’s fascinating, anything’s possible and everything can be turned into a game – it doesn’t get much more inspiring than that. So, our tip – be more 5-year old.

Creative dollops

Design in the outside world 

From utility bills to Lamborghini headlights, and toothbrushes to skyscrapers – good design is everywhere. You just need to look for it. The ‘⌘’ key on an Apple keyboard comes from the ‘St John’s Arms’, a Scandinavian heraldic symbol used to scare off evil spirits. Have you ever noticed the ‘Eurion’ star constellations on bank notes? Now there’s a story worth checking out. And don’t get us started on the perfect teapot spout.

Big, bold, single-minded ideas

They say advertising ain’t what it used to be, but what it used to be is still there to be excavated, plundered and absorbed. And you can’t beat a trawl through the old awards annuals for a shot in the arm. What’s Tom’s favourite ad? The one he won’t stop banging on about? It’s Harley Davidson’s 2002 classic ‘Somewhere on an airplane a man is trying to rip open a small bag of peanuts’. Phwoar, what a headline!

Video games

Geek alert. We love a good User Interface (UI) and video games have some of the best. From the über-simple pixel perfection of Pac-Man, to the latest photorealistic 3D AAA titles – you’ve gotta love the craft and attention to detail. Plus, it’s a great way to unwind. See you in Liberty City.

Spontaneity

When you’re creating anything new, winging and prayering it makes for an intoxicating mistress. Letting your intuitive nature take the wheel, like an abstract expressionist or a scat-diddly-doo-wop-noodler. If in doubt, throw your brush at the canvas and see where the splat leads you. It freaks the scientific-leaning bods out, but when the time’s right and the stars align, it properly stuffs dollops goose.

The journey

No matter how disciplined, most creative explorers feel like they’re making it up as they go along. But that’s no bad thing (if you’ve got a safety net knitted from a ton of experience, dangling underneath you). No game plan, no framework, no rigid 5-step process. It takes guts – on our side and yours – and space to experiment. But, if you want to create work that stands out, sometimes you just gotta snort the brief, then follow your nose.

Yes, oh yes. Inspiration is there indeedy, but you have to go looking for it. So, keep snuffling away in life’s dusty bookshops and dimly lit backstreets. You never know what you’ll find.

Can’t see the pudding for the custard? Give us a bell on: 01273 458568 or drop us a line at: hello@dollopcreative.co.uk – and let the journey begin.

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