Set your bedside alarm for 5am. When it goes off either get up and enjoy the unique feel of that time of day or go back to sleep and have the craziest dreams (REM sleep is easier to reach/remember) – one of these experiences will give you inspiration.
Don’t all sit in a meeting and somehow expect that something will pop into your collective conscious. Don’t read the design press, don’t go to google images or youtube. Don’t force it – get out of the studio. Go to the theatre, go to gigs, go to museums, take time off work, go for a walk, stop looking at your computer, turn off your mobile and the tv, Have a chat with your mates about something meaningful.
Diversify your interests. The broader your interests and your absorption of culture the more relevant your designs become for your clients. Put yourself in your clients place and try to imagine how they will receive your thinking. Throw up lots of ideas, exchange opinions with your colleagues, road test your thinking with them, think around the subject, look at it from all angles then apply relentless rigour in creating your design. OR not. Go with your gut instinct because you are so bored of laborious over-worked responses it takes all the joy out of life and you can’t remember why you started in the creative industries if everything is designed by committee and compromise. Draw a lot just for the sake of it. Ignore style. Have the courage of your convictions provided you are extremely talented, if not, listen. Listen in any case.”—Airslide (via unicornology)
“A popular exercise among High School creative writing teachers in America is to ask students to imagine they have been transformed, for a day, into someone of the opposite sex, and describe what that day might be like. The results, apparently, are uncannily uniform. The girls all write long and detailed essays that clearly show they have spent a great deal of time thinking about the subject. Half of the boys usually refuse to write the essay entirely. Those who do make it clear they have not the slightest conception what being a teenage girl might be like, and deeply resent having to think about it.”—
David Graeber, “Beyond Power/Knowledge: An Exploration of Power, Ignorance and Stupidity” (pdf)
He also says much the same thing in “Revolutions in Reverse,” an essay included in the book Revolutions in Reverse (which can be read in Scribd at the link). I’d been meaning to post a quote from the second source for a while, thanks to Aaron Brady for the actual excerpt above. That last link is a good essay on the recent Rush Limbaugh BS and how patriarchy works and how male privilege is defended by having men like Limbaugh around to keep women’s opinions out of the allowed discourse on the subject. To keep high school boys forever unable to write essays that could relate to the issue of needing hormonal birth control to control ovarian cysts.
We talked about this a lot this year in English. Girls are taught from a young age that we have to connect to what we read, so when we do excercises in class, everyone talks about how they connect to Huck Finn, or to Jay Gatsby, or to Julius Caesar. We connect to all the characters because we have to, because if we don’t then we won’t survive through the years of school.
Boys don’t deal with this. Practically every book or story they encounter from the time they begin school is full of male characters and written by men. So when confronted with female characters of female authors, they don’t know what to do. They feel as if they can’t connect with these characters because of the gender boundaries. As one woman in my class pointed out, “girls have to connect to male characters, but boys don’t have to connect to female characters.” By the time they’re my age, it’s not even intentional: many honestly think that they won’t understand a female character because they have no shared experiences whatsoever.