I used to think "inspiration" was for people with no "imagination." I thought people who were inspired all the time were just too cool for school; you know the type—talking on a bluetooth headset while jogging to Jamba Juice at 5 a.m. So, I would say, let them have their inspiration, and I'll stick to going it alone, just me and my imagination.
But over the past year or so, I've realized that I need both to make it work. Creative minds can't avoid inspiration and can't do without it. Here's a simile for you: creativity is like a car. It can only go so far on the gas that's in the tank before you have to refill the tank. Creative minds need to be consistently inspired in order to grow, and I think it's better to seek out inspiration rather than wait for it to find you.
Inspiration can truly be found anywhere—in a song, a movie, a conversation. There's a line in a Dwight Yoakam song that says, "Today I had another bout with sorrow." When I hear it, I'm inspired to take a picture. I ask myself, "What does a 'bout with sorrow' look like?" and the creative Jamba Juice starts to flow.
Another great source of inspiration is the world wide web. There are a ton of great online resources to get you fired up about your next project or creative endeavor. I'll share with you some of my favorites:
A showcase of some really good Photoshop tutorials and, so often, a source of beautiful work, like this roundup of good typography.
A collection of quality web designs, often where I go to get started thinking about one of my own designs.
An online magazine that consistently delivers trends in web design and development. We were recently featured in the Smashing Magazine for Beautifully Textured Web Designs. Twelve from the top, Boerne Wild West Day.
A showcase of some of the most creative advertising in the world. Really smart stuff.
A gallery of logos from around the globe, some better than others, and some even for sale!
An online magazine dedicated to all things design. Check out these strange rings.
I'm a photography enthusiast, and this guy is at the top of my list. Nobody knows how he achieves his look, but it's unmistakable.
Inspiration is all around us, and we need it to reach and surpass our potential. Take some time to gather what inspires you. Actively seeking sources of inspiration can open your mind to new possibilities and take your own creativity to new heights.