People often ask from where I pull my creativity. My answer is simple: life and the world around me. And, as luck may have it, the world gets smaller every day due to new technologies and the melting pot of cultures.
Whether you’re traveling in the States or abroad, use your powers of observation and file everything you see into your memory bank.
Most of us have predictable daily routines, which can make our lives stagnant. Traveling refreshes the mind, recharges the soul and opens up our creative energies.
Inspiration truly is everywhere. Look for it in architecture new and old. Pay attention to how people express themselves in the clothes they wear, or how fashion trends are influenced by colors and patterns. Draw inspiration from trying new foods and spices and noticing food presentations. Harness the power of big cities. Get in tune with remote villages. Nature and all its wonders are the best inspiration of all. As you travel from place to place, study cloud formations, how the sky changes and shifts before and after a storm, watch the glory of a sunrise or sunset, and the beauty of the flora and fauna. Breathe and soak it all in.
I try to use my mind much like a photographer uses a camera trying to take the perfect photo. I force myself to look at what’s in front of me and capture it from many angles, finding the perfect lighting or playing with perspective. Once you begin looking at life using this technique, your perspective on daily life will change. The influences of every new journey are a catalyst for creativity.
Getting in touch with the world around you through exploration and examination will help you hone in on your creative process and make the world, or at least your part of it, a more beautiful place.
One of my favorite parts of traveling is being exposed to new foods, clothes, customs, even words. I love the feeling of exploration and the delight that comes with a discovery. I don’t have James’ talent for design, but I do take what I see, taste and experience and bring it home with me.
Sometimes that means buying a piece of jewelry that has a unique style. It adds an interesting piece to my accessorizing and prompts conversation when people ask where the piece came from.
Other times, I get a haircut in a foreign country. That’s an adventure! I’ve had my locks coiffed in London, France and Italy. Each time I walked out with a style I’d never before considered and that I wore as a reminder to try new things.
I pick up spices from local markets and infuse my cooking with flavors from abroad. Or I’ll pick up a cooking gadget that is supremely clever but somehow missing from U.S. shelves.
I have clothing I’ve purchased that shouts, “I’m from overseas” that I wear with delight as people comment on the interesting styles, inspiring them to find their own creativity when putting an outfit together.
So if you’re like me and lack James’ talent for design, don’t despair. You can still learn, observe and grow your creativity while traveling.
Share your favorite travel-inspired inspiration with us (photos welcome) in the comment box below and/or email James and Christy at *protected email*.