Artists and designers always need to find new inspiration and ideas for their projects. While many professionals fall into the trap of constantly looking at the work of other people in their own industry, it’s worth noting that inspiration can come from many different places. Stepping away from the art that you normally surround yourself with and looking at the world around you can be a great way to refresh your creative energy.
Everything that was ever built or created went through many deliberate design choices before it reached the finished product. Whether that is clothes, bottled drinks, tools, or anything else, it was specifically designed in that way for a reason. Here are several different industries that can bring you some unique artistic inspiration.
Toys and Games
Anything along the lines of models and miniatures, action figures, or common games can be very interesting to review. All of these things were designed very deliberately and have some interesting creative choices. The progression of toys and games over the years shows that there are always opportunities to head in a new direction, regardless of the industry.
For example, playing cards have remained a specific size and shape for decades, mostly due to the strict requirements for gaming purposes. While most cards that you would recognize are rectangular, made of a special stock paper and with four suits as the standard, there have been a number of variations on that theme. Regardless of what industry you are in, always look for opportunities to innovate.
Architecture is the precise point where form and function meet. As you can imagine, architects have strict building codes and regulations they must follow for safety and stability reasons. With so many important rules, it’s incredible that architects can work within these limitations and still create incredible and breathtaking structures.
Across mankind’s history, there have been numerous distinct styles of architecture present in many different cultures. If you are in need of some artistic inspiration, historical architecture is boundless. For instance, Russia is known for its dome-capped towers in places like St Basil’s Cathedral. Romania has a history that is interwoven with majestic stone castles. Japan has a style that is all their own with lots of natural materials, angled thatched roofs, and sliding doors in place of permanent walls, allowing for different room configurations based on your needs.
Looking to more recent architecture, we have clearly entered an age where mesmerizing structures are possible. As technology advances, architecture is progressing in an astounding direction. Singapore, for example, has become a place full of modern marvels like the iconic Marina Bay Sands, or The Interlace, a geometric stacked and interconnecting apartment building complex that resembles something like Jenga blocks. If you look around you can find many inspiring modern buildings.
Cars and other types of automobiles are interesting and are often overlooked for artistic inspiration, yet every contour and line of the interior and exterior of a vehicle was meticulously designed in a certain way. The automotive industry sells billions of dollars worth of vehicles every year, so you can guarantee that they enlisted psychologists and advertisers to help them design their vehicles with a certain appeal.
Studies have shown that when you look at the front of a vehicle, the same parts of your brain that are responsible for facial recognition are activated. This is incredibly interesting when you consider the design choices. Oftentimes, sports cars are made to look mean and aggressive, and family-oriented cars like sedans and minivans have a softer and friendlier look to them. These are deliberate design choices that help you bond with these vehicles. Looking at the automotive industry will teach you not only about design but the thought process behind it.
Retro and Different Eras
In our quest to always bring what’s next and new, we often forget how much has come before. Looking back to retro designs can bring a lot of interesting ideas. Thumbing through history books dedicated to your favorite city or country is a great place to start. The clothes that were popular, the signs outside restaurants and gas stations, old stamp collections, food and beverage labels, there is a lot of artistic direction to draw from. Retro art elements are always being used in new ways, so if you are familiar with these styles you can be guaranteed you’ll have an opportunity to use them in your work in the future.
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