2020 has been quite the year for everyone. While thinking of this month’s topic, I thought I could share the lessons learned or list how many of the year’s intentions were not fully realized due to a global pandemic, but instead, I decided to look forward.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may notice I use the hashtag #designiseverywhere. I believe there is beauty in all that is around us, even when things seem bleak. I seek out the beauty that is right in front of me to keep the inspiration flowing. Though we may all be stuck inside, we really don’t have to go too far to see something beautiful and make us feel a little bit better. I encourage you to take a quick look around to see what is right in front of you and acknowledge what gives you joy.
For the incoming year, I am sharing where I find the inspiration I seek to bring me joy and what inspires me in my craft when designing solutions for my clients.
Fine Art and Painting
One of my favorite artists that I am obsessed with is Emanuel De Sousa. I love his retro/future style. The blend of figurative painting with acrylics, use of colors, shapes, figures, and animals. Check him out on Instagram: @emanuelartist
Singing and Music
Some may not know, but I am a singer. I originally went to college to study classical voice but quickly transferred into art and design so I could be creative and still make a living. Here are a few musicians that I sing along to while I work: Amanda Yang, The Middle East, Thao & Mirah, Sara Farell, and many more. Do you incorporate music into your day to assist in some way?
Rabbit Holes of Design Inspiration
When I start to form a creative idea, I focus on the components I am meshing together. Color, typography, illustration, and photography are each a factor. The internet is a mighty, powerful tool to find all things but using Pinterest and Instagram narrow down the time spent down the never-ending google rabbit hole. Here are my boards where I hoard things that I want to remember. By using Pinterest, color palettes help creative come together. Typography options are endless and very helpful to ensure that I am not doing something that has already been created. It goes without saying the numerous inspirational illustrators and photographers that can be found on Instagram! And the bonus – if you want to work with a particular artist, their contact information is right there!
Related Article: The Impact of Graphic Design in Society and Social Change
Traveling to Staycation Destinations
Though travel is a bit of a frowned upon activity at this time, there is the opportunity to discover our own backyard. I am obsessed with road trips, backroads, and random findings in small towns. Within Massachusetts alone, taking advantage of the many outdoor offereings through The Trustees of the Reservation and the Greenbelt Association, one will find many of wooded nooks and crannies to investigate. Hopefully, in 2021, my dream to own a van and travel the country will come into reality.
In the meantime, here are a few channels that inspire that travel bug: Kara and Nate. They have traveled to over 100 countries and show how to do it on a budget (check out their adventures on YouTube). Eamon and Bec, a Canadian couple who make a custom van build appear fun (check out their van builds on YouTube). Finally, Allison Anderson, a photographer and solo traveler on YouTube, proves that traveling alone has its benefits. Through these channels and many others, I now know of many places that are available to visit when we all are free to roam.
About the Author: Jillfrances Gray
I am a creative director and designer with 20+ years of experience helping clients innovate and execute their marketing initiatives. Services include brand strategy, brand identity, website design, graphic design, social media marketing, and email marketing. I am obsessively detailed oriented and have a passion for solid, stunning aesthetics. Plus, I’ve been told I am a lot of fun to work with.