Keeping an Inspiration Stash

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Every creative has those days when the innovative juices just don't flow freely. For me, the best ideas come at the most inconvenient times. It's really effing frustrating. Ideas strike while out on a walk, browsing the internet, talking with friends. It's almost never when I'm actually trying to be creative. If you ask me to go back and think of those genius ideas I had at 2am lying in bed, you can pretty much bet that I won't remember any of them.

Not to fear, friends. There is a solution: keeping an inspirations stash. A little stockpile of ideas that you have gathered, can keep you from starving in a creative drought. Tons of photographers keep Pinterest as their creative stash, and I do use it for loads of things, but I don't think it is enough. Ideally, I would always have a notebook and colored pencils to doodle and jot ideas in. Even better, a scrapbook of magazine pages, and fragrance samples. As someone that rarely carries a purse, I have turned to my trusty iPhone as my treasure trove. When I see a cool texture pressed into a concrete, a juxtaposed photo in a magazine at the doctor's office or a cool font in a boutique, I save them to the stash.

Whenever I open my phone to my file of scraps, something magic happens. I spawn new ideas in unexpected ways. If anyone that doesn't know me looked at my stash, they would never guess that I'm a pro wedding photographer. Blurry photos of concerts have translated to branding colors. A video at an absinthe bar has become a stylized shoot. The medley of things I find to be cool is a recipe for jolting my brain into creative gear. I wonder what the inspiration stash would have been like for the greats of the past: Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe. Even more, I'm dying to hear what has inspired you, Showiteers. What have you squirreled away for later and how do you get inspired?

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