Inspiration is everywhere …if you know how to find it

With stiff competition for freelance jobs, presenting work that’s inspired can make all the difference between getting the assignments you want and being passed over. iStock by Getty Images have partnered with Twine to help you find the inspiration you need to create the kind of work that gets noticed.

The Wright Brothers discovered how to successfully build an airplane after observing the way birds fly. George de Mestral invented Velcro after noticing the burrs stuck to him. A falling apple led Sir Isaac Newton to discover gravity.

Whatever your area of expertise, a key ingredient for success is inspiration. But like with some of history’s greats, how to find it may not be so obvious.

People take notice when your work is Inspired

The freelance pool has never been bigger—and competition can be fierce. That’s why it’s crucial to stand out with a portfolio of work that’s inspired, that can “wow” perspective clients and leave them wondering, “Where have you been all my life?” When competing with other creatives, grabbing your audience’s attention with something exceptional is the best way to stand out.

Here are 4 ways to find the inspiration that can get you hired:

1. Don’t Let Brilliance Pass You By

If you’re lucky—and pay attention—inspiration can seemingly come out of thin air. That’s what happened when my old boss was struggling to come up with the big idea for a high-profile commercial assignment.

One day while walking with his wife, he observed her avoiding the hot sun by crossing from one shady side of the street to the other. Her quirky walking pattern smacked his creative brain with an ah-ha moment where he envisioned a runner in his client’s sneakers following a similar route.

The end result was a commercial that focused on a man zigging and zagging in between the sunlight, including running alongside a big truck that provided shade while crossing the street. Not sure what the man is doing, viewers couldn’t peel their eyes away from this captivating scene.

The lesson? When you observe the world around you, the odds are you’ll see something that triggers thinking outside of the box.

2. Exercise mental clarity

When your mind and body work in unison, it’s much easier to summon an idea or complete a creative thought.

Last August while running on the treadmill, I was struck with an idea for a challenging project that I was having trouble concepting. My brain unlocked as an unexpected but perfect solution suddenly sprang out of its cocoon and planted the seed for a campaign responsible for winning a big agency account.

It’s a fact that exercising accelerates blood flow and makes our brains perform better. So, the next time you need to think, clear your mind or unclog a mental block, a simple walk outside could get those creative juices flowing.

3. Go online to think outside of the box

Before the Internet, finding inspiration was a chore. I knew most magazines’ first day of issue so that I could scramble to the newsstand and buy it before everyone else.

When the Internet put an unimaginable amount of “everything under the sun” at our fingertips, advertising was reimagined, design evolved, and a world wide web of visual inspiration was ours for the taking 24/7. With over 1.8 billion websites worldwide, it’s impossible to run out of exceptional sites that make you pause, admire and rethink your ideas.

The second you log onto Instagram, inspiration hits you in the face with millions of captivating images and inspirational posts or stories about every subject you can imagine. Pinterest is another one of my favorite sites—I could spend hours browsing the boards, and often do. I always come away with some sort of insight that sparks my imagination. No matter which sites are your favorites, you’re bound to see or read something for the first time and be inspired by it.

4. Consult the experts

Seeking expert advice is the best way to set up a project for success. For example, someone wouldn’t open a restaurant before an expert explained the complicated licensing and permit process.

Creativity is no different. Anyone can have a vision but without inspiration, you can’t shape and mold it into work that breaks through the clutter. iStock and Getty Images recently launched Creative Insights as a place for creatives to spark their imagination with authentic imagery, articles on the latest trends, and stories written by top creatives.

It doesn’t matter how a photograph looks; it matters how a photo makes you feel.

The piece on Creative Insights that immediately pulled me in and still hasn’t let go of my heartstrings is “Cancer Sucks”. In the Spotlight section, “Cancer Sucks,” focuses on award-winning photographer Mireya Acierto’s moving work as she follows Vara, a brave 9-year old fighting cancer for the second time. Said Acierto, “It’s really magical to watch and puts things into perspective as to what’s going on in my own life.”

The collection captures Vara, full of hope and determination, as well as when her defences are down, telling an impactful story and providing a profoundly intimate, authentic perspective on a child who’s fighting cancer—as told through the lens of an artist who’s been inspired.

It’s the kind of visual storytelling, you can expect to find on Creative Insights—revealing the artist’s journey and the power of storytelling, aiming to help inspire your own creativity.

Where will you find inspiration?

Inspiration can pop up anywhere and lead to an intriguing idea. All you have to do is open your eyes and see a world of possibilities. Good luck.


On Monday 26th November to Friday 30th November, iStock is offering 20% off all credits with code SAVE20. Explore today and save on inspiring images.

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As a freelance copywriter for the last two years, Sharon devotes most of her time to writing content meant to enlighten and inspire. In-between juggling clients, she recently finished her first book.