Translating Inspiration: Uncanny Creativity 28

Sometimes we are so inspired by the work of others, yet we can’t quite capture what they’ve done into our own work. Making something new using inspiration can be a tricky business. Here are some tips to make it work

Think of your audience. How can you make something accessible for the audience that you tap into.

Copying or plagiarism? That is the dangerous ground that we all fear. We want people to see the genius of our influences. Yet don’t want to be derivative. Take part of the work, not the whole composition. Try just taking the color scheme, for example. Ask yourself what you like about it and what doesn’t work.

Play on different variations on the aspect you liked until you find something new. Remember your voice, review your work for trends. Imitate and then iterate. Look at inspiration in different mediums then you’re own. Think about the inspiration piece in terms of visual associations.  How does the subject matter relate to the style and elements. How can you use those types of relationships in your work.

Working with and against cliche. Is the intention of your work to be a commentary on a cliche. The point of inspirations is to unlock your own creativity in ways you haven’t before. Put away the inspiration once you have started and push it in new directions.

Uncanny Creativity is an art productivity podcast helping you to be more imaginative everyday. Hosted by Brian E. Young, a magazine art director and artist in Baltimore, Maryland.

If you have a design and creativity question I can help answer, send me your letters by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.


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