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How Artists Generate Their Own Inspiration

Techmog is a liquid network of engineers, programmers, designers and entrepreneurs in and around London who report on the industry we work in, from an insider's view. We're always looking for Londoners with something interesting to say. Send an email to info@techmog.com if you would like to contribute to the website.

Peter Bailey

Freelance Wordpress Developer in London (peabay.xyz) @peabay
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Check out: Floating Egg Lab

To be original as a designer today is hard work. When things invented outweigh things seen designers can either plagiarise or give up. But little known to them are the systems and formulas successful artists use to generate ideas rapidly.

Rod Judkins is a teacher at Central St Matins College of Art. Among classes of artistry Rod teaches students how to come up with new ideas from imagery they are already familiar with.

Rod tells us that the Live Aid logo wasn’t a spark of creativity, but a formulated idea. Breaking the concept down into it’s key components and laying them out on a grid the designers quickly built multiple options. The items they chose were the stacked words ‘Live’ and ‘Aid’ with the i’s lined up, the shape of Africa and a guitar.

Another insight was that of surreal artists who were found to have their own systems. They simply took inspiration from pre-defined variations of their subject. Making sketches of the subject’s paradox, out of context, as an animal, as a giant and as a hybrid ideas are much more easily generated.

So don’t freakout if you’re stuck for ideas. Just be procedural about it.

Well recommend Rod’s book called Change Your Mind.

Posted 24th Apr 2014
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