What do you do when you get stuck for ideas, whether it is for a piece of creative work, a blog post, a new project? A client asked me this question recently and I told her that one of the things I do is visit other websites. As I browse through blogs posts, read news items and look at images of creative work, little ideas start forming in my head. They might not be directly related to what I have seen or read, but just jump or sidle into my mind through a loose and seemingly random series of connections. Of course, the browsing is also brilliant displacement activity, taking my mind off the immediate situation or deadline and giving it room in the subconscious to sort its’ self out.
Here are my top five favourite sites for a bit of mental stimulation:
This arts and design blog highlights some of the best work around, presented with a wealth of gorgeous images. Alongside lots of inspiring projects from around the world, there are also great blogs on resources for creative people. It is a fun, informative and fascinating blog.
This free cultural and educational website has links to a mindblowing amount of online courses, audio books, e-books, films, language lessons, business courses ... You can get inspired by a Buster Keaton silent film, read a short story by David Sedaris, download a classic novel or a catalogue from the Getty Museum.
This is one of several good sites which offers free high resolution photographs which can be used by anyone for their blog/website/publications. I often use images from their site for my blog and at other times, just like to have a look at the images to spark ideas.
The Victoria and Albert is my favourite museum and the place I go when I need a real creative kick in the pants. I love the sheer variety of objects, periods, creators, etc., and when I can't get there in person their website allows me to wander virtually through their collection.
99u, from Behance, is a blend of "insights on making ideas happen". There are articles on generating ideas, how to put them into action, how to manage time / skills / work balance, wellbeing. There are practical tips and processes as well as identifying and changing mindsets which can be holding you back.