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On-Demand Inspiration


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Inspiration tends to be elusive and fleeting - often when we need it the most for important projects. Wouldn't it be great to be able to have a reliable method to evoke and tap into creative …

Inspiration tends to be elusive and fleeting - often when we need it the most for important projects. Wouldn't it be great to be able to have a reliable method to evoke and tap into creative inspiration at will to spur the process of ideation and production?

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  • 1. On-Demand Inspiration Denise R. Jacobs Interlink Conference Vancouver, BC June 2011
  • 2. For the internetz inspired: I am: @denisejacobs We’re at: @interlinkconf I’m waxing philosophic about: #inspirationon
  • 3. Chief inspired one: Denise Jacobs Author, Trainer & Creativity Evangelist
  • 4. On Inspiration
  • 5. Inspire Origin: 1300–50; Middle English inspiren < Latin inspīrāre to breathe upon or into, equivalent to in- + spīrāre to breathe Definition: 1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence 2. to give rise to, bring about, cause, etc. 3. to guide or control by divine influence. 4. Archaic: a. to infuse (breath, life, etc.) by breathing. b. to breathe into or upon.
  • 6. Not this
  • 7. But this
  • 8. Real world inspiration
  • 9. Elusive when needed
  • 10. Comes unheralded
  • 11. Inspiration Arc
  • 12. What gets you there
  • 13. So you never run out
  • 14. Externali ze & Invite (externalize and invite)
  • 15. Helpful delusion “Sometimes dabbling in mysticism can be a fun way to understand and solve a problem.” - King, So you’re a Creative Genius, Now What?
  • 16. Externalize
  • 17. “Creation does not have to be a tormented process – it can be a peculiar, wondrous, bizarre conversation and collaboration between you and the strange external entity that is not quite you.” - Elizabeth Gilbert, Nuturing Creativity TED talk
  • 18. Genius
  • 19. “Genius is being able to understand the essence without having all of the information….Genius is the ability to see through to the essential.”
  • 20. “Be” vs. “Have” As opposed to being a genius, consider that you have a genius – a mystical spirit that accompanies you and inspires and helps you to create fantastic work.
  • 21. Muses
  • 22. Muses Three original muses: •Melete - practice or occasion •Aoide – voice or song •Mneme – memory Muses were thought to be the true speakers for whom an artist is merely the mouthpiece. Muses inspire people to do their best.
  • 23. Spirit of the Idea “The world is being circled by ideas and creativity that wants to made manifest and are looking for portals to come through…”
  • 24. “…If you don’t do it, it will find someone else.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
  • 25. We are avatars
  • 26. Invite
  • 27. Ur Doin’ It Wrong “My f*cking book won’t tell me its name!” “Well, if you’re going to talk to it like that, it’s not going to tell you anything.”
  • 28. Be nice
  • 29. Generate
  • 30. Blocks
  • 31. Destructivity FEAR (“false evidence appearing real” or “f*ck everything and run”) causes unnecessary inhibitions which obstruct the generation of new ideas on a biochemical and neurological level.
  • 32. Inner critic
  • 33. Comparing
  • 34. Distractions
  • 35. Expansion
  • 36. Lower Filters
  • 37. Wave management
  • 38. Electric Flow
  • 39. Walk
  • 40. Water
  • 41. Willingness
  • 42. Gather
  • 43. “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” - Goethe
  • 44. Jump-off points
  • 45. Collect & Curate
  • 46. Tools • • • • • • • • • • Little Snapper (
  • 47. Inspiration Sources
  • 48. Biophilia
  • 49. Serendipity The term serendipity was coined by Horace Walpole, from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip," whose heroes "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.“ -
  • 50. Capture
  • 51. Sketchnotes, etc.
  • 52. Hands-on
  • 53. Voice
  • 54. Amplify
  • 55. DIY
  • 56. Habit fields
  • 57. Pursue problems to solve
  • 58. Suck at it (or be wrong) “Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore.” – Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
  • 59. Practice & Prototype Try something. Get feedback. Refine. Get more feedback. Observe, suggest, tinker, review feedback, reiterate
  • 60. DIWO
  • 61. Intellectual diversity
  • 62. Slow vs. Fast •Give ideas time to simmer, to develop into hunches •Ideas often have long incubation periods: they fade into view over time •Share hunches with others – this sets the stage for the aha/eureka moment
  • 63. Result: Slow hunches
  • 64. “Chance favors the connected mind.” – Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
  • 65. Teach and Learn
  • 66. Open to Flow •Clear: work area, time, head •Goal: know what you want to achieve and what it looks like •Materials on hand •No distractions •Practice •Allow it
  • 67. DO
  • 68. Enjoy the show (and be amazed)
  • 69. Watch what happens
  • 70. Inspiration is all around you
  • 71. “Intention guides serendipity, which fuels inspired ideation.” - Denise Jacobs, Inspiration: On- demand
  • 72. Be inspired
  • 73. The CSS Detective Guide Get 35% off at with the discount code “NETMAG” Shameless Self-Promotion #1
  • 74. InterAct With Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design Shameless Self-Promotion #2
  • 75. Thank you!