This is a guest post written by Carole Chevalier.
Hey guys! Today I have the pleasure to write a guest post for A Branch of Holly and I have loads to talk about, so get ready! But first, a little introduction is needed.
I’m Carole, a French graphic designer and illustrator currently living in beautiful North Wales. I’ve been living here for about 5 years now and although I’ve loved my full-time designer job from the start, I’m preparing myself to take the leap and go freelance next month! I know, exciting right?!
I love talking about design, my adventures and inspirations on my blog, and my Instagram is full of the yummy food I eat (oh yes, I’m a greedy girl!) and beautiful places I see. But I’m not here to talk to you about food (although it’s very tempting) - I’ve got the pleasure to talk to you about how I stay inspired and motivated in my fascinating creative job!
How to keep the inspiration flowing
There are so many ways to stay inspired, but it’s not always an easy task. You see, those of you with a similar job will understand - being creative 24/7 can become difficult if you’re tired, stressed or overwhelmed. I always try and stay as healthy as I can and as curious as possible, but without a good night sleep, I’m hopeless!
When I reach a wall, I make sure to take a break, and do something completely different. I love to explore and go for walks, and traveling is one of my favourite things to do to recharge the batteries. I always have my camera with me and that allows me to see things differently and search for the little details that would make a great composition in a photo.
Being curious and having your eyes wide open everywhere you go always helps with creativity, and beautiful scenery and landscapes clear my mind and make me see my designs with fresh eyes.
Of course, even if I find inspiration in everything that surrounds me, from the colours in a sunset, to a pattern on beautiful tiled floor, I also use and abuse many tools in my pocket!
You’ve obviously heard of Pinterest (who hasn’t?) and I’m completely addicted to it. I’m an organisation freak, and being able to pin everything into particular folders is pure delight to me. Layouts, colour combinations, abstract designs, typographies… I save it all and come back to it when I need a little kick during the day.
It’s also great for following the trends and to stay in the loop with new techniques and talented people out there. If you’re not on it yet, you’re missing out big time!
Another thing that keeps the inspiration flowing for me is to regularly follow various blogs and websites that sometimes have not much to do with design, but lift my spirits and make me happy. Here is a little list I put together just for you!
And don’t forget, sometimes the best idea you will have to get your inspiration back is to put your pyjamas on and read your favourite books with a hot chocolate (or a glass of wine!) in hand. Having some ‘me time’ is so important!
How to stay motivated
Sometimes the issue is not the inspiration but the motivation. You see, I often get these blasts of inspiration, but then because I feel tired or I’d rather do something else, I don’t have enough motivation to just do it.
The funny thing about it is that in these moments, if I force myself just a tiny bit and start the work, it doesn’t feel like a burden anymore and the motivation to get it done and get it done well, kicks in.
The message here is: if you need the motivation to do something, just start. Don’t wait, don’t find excuses, just do it and you’ll feel so much better.
I always enjoy making progress on the projects I tasked myself with and I find that when I document it and share it on social media, it then gives me the motivation to carry on and finish it properly. It’s not new, social media makes you feel like you’re part of a community and it’s always great to share your process and get to communicate with other creatives.
Don’t make the mistake of comparing your work with others though - what makes you unique is your own style, so don’t feel like you have to change it!
Sharing is great, but following the right people is key. If you want to be a part of a community, you need to find it first. So when I started on Twitter and Instagram, I spent hours searching for various creatives that I thought would not only make me grow as a designer but would also give me the motivation to carry on and do the best I can, seeing how successful they were at what they were doing. I’ve gathered a few of my favourites below. If you don’t follow them already, you have no excuse now!
And talking about successful people, reading their books has been a revelation to me. I’ve never felt as empowered and motivated after reading a great book about a badass woman that made her name in the world, even though she struggled and wasn’t meant to succeed from the start. I mean, if they can do it, surely I can too right?
It’s all about having the confidence to pursue your goals and never look back. If you have the motivation and a goal set in your mind, you can be fearless and ready to rock your life. Sometimes you just need to read somebody else’s story to realise it.
I really hope that this helped you! If you would like to see more about my work and my blog, head over to carolechevalier.co.uk :)
How do you stayed motivated and inspired on a daily basis? Which of these ideas will you be trying out?
Carole grew up and studied graphic design in France and started her career as a creative in North Wales, UK, in 2011. She's been working at View Creative Agency, a multi-award graphic design company, for the past fIve years, starting off with specialising in illustration but quickly developed her skills and passion for all areas of graphic design. Recently, she's taken the leap and decided to start a freelance career.