‘Inspiration’ – such an overused word, right? Yet the synonyms – motivation, stimulus, influence – don’t seem to quite capture the essence of, well… inspiration! And what it means to be inspired. Whenever I get that feeling, it’s like butterflies in my stomach. It’s that desire to DO SOMETHING.
I am definitely the kind of person who needs to be inspired. I want to watch, see, read or do things that get my creative juices flowing, that lights a spark or even a fire in my belly.
So where do I find inspiration?
Humans of New York
My absolute go-to for inspiration is Humans of New York (HONY). I admire Brandon Stanton so much. He was working in finance, lost his job and decided to pursue his passion for photography full-time. But he goes way beyond just photographing people. He gets people to open up and reveal such intimate things. Their hopes, their dreams, their failures, their regrets, their wisdom… he has such a gift. How does he do it?!
As an amateur photographer, I try to study his style and think how I can compose my shots to make them more interesting, more intriguing, more emotive. My best friend bought me his book and I treasure it.
And now there is Humans of New York the Series. Every Monday on Facebook, there is a new video, which is a compilation of clips from over 1,200 interviews and themed. This one is about relationships. I didn’t think it was possible for HONY to get any better.
What She Said
As a blogger, I’m always finding inspiration from fellow bloggers. I still have loads to learn and there’s no better place to learn, and be inspired, than Lucy Sheref’s podcast What She Said.
Lucy is a freelancer writer and blogger at Wanderluce. It took Lucy 20 years to find her dream job and she shares her top tips as well as giving a platform to other bloggers to share theirs. I love her no nonsense approach:
I believe there’s far too much noise out there in the blogosphere telling you what you should be doing to be successful. I call BS on the majority of it. I think you can basically ignore quite a lot of it, because success looks completely different to every single one of you and, breaking news: we are all unique. End of.
If you want to hear from successful bloggers, such as Sophie Cliff, on how to successfully blog part-time or how to make money from blogging by Monica Stott then subscribe! Every time I listen to a podcast I immediately start putting their tips into practice. If you’ve fallen just a little bit out of love with your blog, or feeling demotivated, What She Said will give you the inspiration you need to get going again.
I’m lucky to live in London where there is a lot of street art. I’ve even been on a tour of street art in Shoreditch and you’ll often find pictures of my latest finds on Instagram. I even seek out street art when I’m travelling! Although I can’t draw to save my life, I love art and I love imagining the story behind the picture.
Like, what does this gorilla symbolise? Or is it an ape…? Is it a political statement? Did the artist choose it because the wall was the perfect shape for the head? No idea.
Then there’s this one. Give me a picture of a strong woman any day and I’m likely to start getting all ‘Spice Girls – Girl Power’ on you.
Although I may not be able to draw or paint, I feel like that part of me is fulfilled whenever I see these amazing works of art – in the street! I don’t even need to visit an art gallery (although I like doing that too).
No doubt you’ve seen the #ThisGirlCan advert? Just the first couple of beats makes me want to put my trainers on, go outside and run like the wind! I can’t run like the wind… I can barely run for the bus but this advert – in fact, this campaign – inspires me to get moving and get fit. I just LOVE it.
If I were ever to apply for a TV show, it would be Masterchef. And not just for my love of food. The best thing about Masterchef is watching how contestants throw themselves into it, how they soak up all the experiences on offer to them (such as cooking in a professional kitchen) and how they progress. It feels like the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life but the most satisfying. And who wouldn’t want to impress their friends with a meal that looks like it’s from a Michelin star restaurant?
How could I call myself a travel blogger if I don’t mention travel as a place I find inspiration? How can you NOT find inspiration in a new place, with new experiences and different cultures, tastes and smells? Whenever I travel, I bring a little part of my trip back with me and, of course, I always have my photos. Travel inspires me to travel more, to be brave and try new things, to have empathy and to be respectful of other cultures.
This is just a taste of where I find inspiration. I’d love to hear where you find it.