12 Go-To Sources of Inspiration When You Need a Creative Boost - Rolling Stone
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12 Go-To Sources of Inspiration When You Need a Creative Boost

When you feel like your creativity has dried up, these resources may get your thoughts flowing again.

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Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

As many creative minds will tell you, creativity isn’t something that is just “always on.” Rather, creativity comes in waves, ebbing and flowing each day in what can often seem like random intervals. When you run a business that relies on innovation, however, it can be difficult to wait for inspiration to strike.

To get your creativity flowing, you’ll need to seek out your own sources of inspiration. Below, a panel of Rolling Stone Culture Council experts share their own go-to sources of inspiration and how you can regain your own creativity by leveraging them yourself.

Your Team

My inspiration comes from the people on my team. Getting feedback and new ideas is beneficial for all involved, no matter how big or small your contribution might be! We all work together because we want what’s best, not just for ourselves, but for those around us too. Success is easier to reach with 10 or more minds focused on one goal instead of just one individual who has their heart set upon it. – Kelley Swing, Head Case Hair Studio

The Outdoors

I go outside. Very simply, I go for a walk. In any city, on any continent, the best remedy for stagnation mentally is movement, physically. This has never not worked to get me creative again. – Cate Rubenstein, Toluna

Comedy

It might sound a bit strange, but I like watching comedy to get the creativity flowing. Ever notice how comedians have a great way of talking about things in a way you never thought of before? You do have to be pretty careful about translating those ideas to business, though. – Peter Su, Green Check Verified

Books

Reading is a constant source of inspiration and education for when I’m feeling stagnant in my creative process. Specifically, books written by entrepreneurs and business owners have exposed me to the many issues faced and the lessons learned from their experiences — some of which I have used as points of reference when developing my own processes. – Adam Rumanek, Aux Mode Inc.

The Gym

I head to the gym when I find myself struggling with my creativity. It’s amazing how a good session in the gym, free of distractions, gets my mind right. Since discovering how the gym helps me refocus, I have seen our business grow 10x in the last two years. – Eric Mitchell, LifeFlip Media

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Lectures

One source I go to for inspiration when I feel like my creativity has dried up is lectures from Earl Nightingale. His practical yet profound perspectives and research on the success mindset has been applicable to various present day business situations that have given me insight on what’s worth giving attention to, key leadership qualities and ways to set my company apart from the competition. – Ryan Larry, VerseBooks, Inc.

Other Cultures

I travel outside the Western world. Inspiration, some headspace and less commercial cultures serve as great sources of novel experiences that can ignite creative thought streams to take back with you in relatable forms. – Erik Oberholtzer, Cohere

Podcasts

When I feel my inspiration waning, I listen to Brené Brown podcasts. I am inspired by her work, and she has great guests who blow my mind with their work, stories and insights spanning business, vulnerability, emotions and joy. After an hour with her podcasts, I feel like I come out a better person and ready for life. – Zena Harris, Green Spark Group

New Research and Trends

To seed my creative side, I research and read about new technologies and economic trends, which sparks my thinking. For me, a big part of creativity is trying not to think too hard about finding that inspiration, but instead consuming enough information and making the space for the right side of my brain to work — from where I feel some of the best ideas come. – Jessica Billingsley, Akerna

Meditation

Transcendental meditation is my go-to for when I’m feeling stuck creatively. We’re living in a time of increasingly distracted lives and exponentially competitive and crowded markets, and opening up that space in my head and time in my day allows inspiration to flow more freely. – Bridget Hilton, LSTN Sound Co.

YouTube

I always find inspiration on YouTube. Cut through the noise and you will discover storytellers who go deep on just about any subject matter, or creators who have developed a signature style of execution. The passion that unfolds with each video resonates and challenges me and the team to think about how we can tell our stories in a new way. – Michael Klein, Miraculo Inc.

Differing Industries and Perspectives

Seek different perspectives and explore areas that are not your expertise. For example, astronomy and marine biology offer wonderful perspectives into creative adaptation and cunning strategy. Watching a part of a lecture or documentary or reading an essay in this area often gets the brain into a creative state. – Jahan Marcu, Marcu & Arora

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