Where I find my inspiration online

Where do you go to find inspiration online? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Flickr? Websites? Possibly a combination of some of those? I’m going through all the artwork and artists that I’ve faved the past year. That means re-looking at all my Instagram likes, Twitter favs, Pinterest pins.

I highly recommend that everyone look back at all their favs and pins from the past year. You spent all the time liking things, why not review what you liked? Maybe you can even make a compilation of the things that inspired you this year. I’m writing a blog post of the 20 artists that inspired me in 2015.

feedly creativity sources
An example of some of the sources in my RSS reader

My #1 source for discovering art?

It’s not Instagram. It’s certainly not Twitter. It’s not even Flickr or Facebook. My inspiration comes from the websites in my RSS reader. That’s right. Good old fashioned websites. About 35 websites to be exact (a couple years ago it counted up to 60 sources). Most of my time visiting these sites are not in front of my laptop at home or work–it’s actually on my iPhone while riding the train. The hype that people online usage is increasingly mobile these days is certainly true! Using an RSS reader on my iPhone, I save interesting art articles and images by emailing them to my Evernote account. Evernote becomes my warehouse of ideas.

Public art ideas: pinterest
My Pinterest board for capturing public art ideas

Second place for inspiration is Pinterest. It’s a bit easier to find creative projects when every single pin is classified onto a specific topic-based board. Twitter and Instagram are a bit too noisy to really find visual inspiration. Specifically for art projects. Not just cool photography, but actual art.

I finished going through my Evernote notes, and found 20 artists that inspired me in 2015. I pulled a few more from my Pinterest boards. As I was looking through my Flickr favs, and I was thinking how there really aren’t any artists from Flickr that are making it onto my list. Why? I love Flickr! Plus, Flickr can be somewhat more focused than Twitter and Instagram due to the better archiving features of albums and better tags. (face it, hashtags on instagram and twitter are really bad versions of tags).

Why is Flickr not inspiring me with art? Perhaps because I follow a set group of people on Flickr. For this list, I’m including artists who I discovered that year. Or perhaps because flickr is more about photography, and not speficially about art. That is, the topic is capturing the world around you, not about capturing art, per se.

I’ll also use Flickr to research topics that I’m already interested in. So I’ll end up with a bunch of photos clustered together by topic. e.e. drawings on foggy windows. Hot wheels photography. So flickr isn’t so much a discovery machine of ideas for me, but more of a research engine for ideas I already have.

The surprising flickr photo that inspired me
Looking through my Flickr favs

As I was thinking this and scrolling through my favs thinking about how I don’t have much discovery of ideas on here, I came across this photo that was interesting. I looked at the photo in the upper left, and thought, “now there’s an interesting photo” Xeroxing origami on a xerox. Who did this? I roll over the image, and it’s my twin brother’s! Pretty crazy. This goes to show that it’s good to review things you liked over the past year, because you’ll even forget that your very own twin brother made some of the images!

Soon I’ll be publishing the 20 (or so) artists that inspired me in 2015. In the meantime, can you share with us:

Where do you find your inspiration online?
Please leave your thoughts in the the comments on this blog post. Thank you.

bitmap of monument signage concept

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[…] Why does this RSS reader beat out the likes of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram? Read my blog post, Where I find my inspiration online. […]

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
8 years ago

That origami image has an interesting background. I was commissioned to make an exterior monument sign for my church. One idea was to use the octagonal mosaic rays around the baptismal font inside the church as inspiration. Those rays are flat while the sign would borrow its elements and make it dimensional.

Experimenting with paper origami-like forms proved quite helpful. However, the paper was still paper and not Cor-Ten steel (the planned, final media). The paper was flopping around a bit and a precise measurement was needed. So back to one of our favorite mediums for help, the photocopier. The paper was taped down and my hands held the paper in the correct spot to get the needed dimension.

A couple days afterwards I felt the photocopy in itself was a compelling image so it got added to Flickr. Thanks for using it as a feature for this blog post!

Erik Maldre
Erik Maldre
8 years ago

You say there’s 35 websites you use for inspiration. Can you share a handful of them?
Here’s a few from my list:

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x