On Collecting Inspiration

I am a collector.

I’m inquisitive. I collect all information – articles, ideas, stories, words, facts, books, quotations. I collect images – pictures, graphics, design ideas, decoration ideas, photographs. Our bookcase is overflowing. My bedside table is crammed full of catalogue pages, printed articles, pages ripped from magazines and notebooks full of notes from all sorts of places. I collect because it interests me. One of my top strengths in Gallups StrengthsFinders test is “Input”. I read a lot to add and archive information, tips, strategies, processes – I never know when I’ll need it but it might be useful one day. So I keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away.

I don’t collect rubbish. I’m really quite choosy and particular and only collect things that I’m drawn to. I care about that random post it with the quote on or that doodle on the back of a receipt that my husband’s thrown away. I am all about collecting in various different fashions:

  1. Pen and Paper

I carry a notebook and a pen wherever I go. I am forever pulling it out and scribbling down notes and lists and diagrams and doodles. If I don’t have paper and pen, it’ll go on my notes pages or drawing app on my phone or tablet. I heard that Artist David Hockney had all the inside pockets of his suit jackets tailored to fit a sketchbook. The musician Arthur Russell liked to wear shirts with two front pockets so he could fill them with scraps of score sheets. Pen and Paper are perfect for collections.

  1. Pinterest

As a huge advocate of “pinning is winning”, I believe Pinterest is the ultimate solution for collectors and creatives.  No longer do I need to print it off and file it away. I can store everything onto digital pinboards. I have different categories: recipes, DIY ideas, gift ideas, useful stuff for church, travel, books I want to read, ideas for conferences, creative ideas, useful articles. The upside (and downside) to Pinterest is that there will always be more to collect and a precursor to all users – my inquisitiveness can lead me to spend a lot of time down very intriguing (but often distracting) avenues.

  1. Website Bookmarks

For those of you that find Pinterest too girly/ confusing/ Ryan-Gosling themed, you can also just bookmark tabs. Soon after meeting my friend, I opened my computer, he noticed the seven thousand tabs that I had open, cue him saying “so you’re a new tab kind of girl huh?”. I think it’s a girl thing as I know lots of women who like lots of tabs but men tend to prefer a new window…I digress. Anyway, I like to remember the useful sites that I’ve come across and the good things that I’ve found in case I want to come back to them later. I agree that keeping them open in a separate tab is a bit ridiculous when you can just bookmark them. My mum is the ultimate bookmarker that I know and keeps all her online collections neatly bookmarked away (FYI. Don’t mess with my Mum’s system, I made that mistake once and accidentally deleted them all…).

  1. A camera

There have been so many times that I’ve taken photos of a brilliant passage in a book, an excellent window display we could use for stage design, a brand or designer I come across in a shop I want to look at or a colour combination in a shop that I really like. Capturing visual images are a quick way of capturing information and sharing ideas.

Collecting keeps my mind fresh. I love to review my boards for inspiration or ideas. It keeps my creative levels topped up. It gets me out of a rut when I’m bored.

So I encourage you, keep a place for your collections, digital or analog, scrapbook or storage box. Keep a place to store your inspirations. A place to go to to be inspired.  Collect in a way that works for you.

you are an explorer

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