How to survive 2021: Get Inspired

With many of our usual sources of inspiration unavailable right now, where can you get fresh ideas?

Last year was tough for culture. Exhibitions barely opened, live performances were few and far between, and the industry festival circuit was pushed online, which while not unsuccessful, removed the opportunities for networking and casual conversation. With our usual options for getting inspiration stymied, creatives have had to think more broadly on how they go about getting new ideas.

Here, in our latest advice piece for navigating the creative industries in 2021, our experts discuss their experiences of staying fresh in lockdown, tips on where to look for new inspiration when the springs have dried up, and why it’s never been a better time to diversify your ideas and look outside your bubble.

EMBRACE DIGITAL

Liz Stone, CEO and co-founder of social marketing agency OK Cool and mentoring scheme OK Mentor, admits that finding inspiration often requires more graft right now. “You have to put in extra work to stay curious and proactive,” she says. For her, taking advantage of digital platforms has been helpful in finding inspiring material. “YouTube is actually a great source for learning about any culture or craft or an inspiring destination. Pinterest and Tumblr are great for getting lost in beautiful imagery.” This goes hand in hand with visiting online media houses to read about what other creatives are doing, something she’ll do a few times a week to “make sure I’m staying on top of what is happening culturally”.

Stephen Ledger-Lomas, head of production and partner at BBH London, agrees. “There’s no solution for getting back into galleries when they’re not open. But actually there is Instagram and that digital world, and we can go down incredible pathways and end up getting lost.”

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes