When searching the Internet, set yourself some rules. It is so easy to go on and on, clicking through this link and following that link. This is when time gets wasted. Below are the four rules I give myself:
Give yourself a time limit. This ensures you don’t waste time, it focuses your mind on the task and if you haven’t found anything to get your creative juices flowing by the time you reach your limit, then it quite possible that you need a break from it anyway.
When looking for ideas, keep it to two or three. You can always look again another day.
Avoid clicking through links. These are designed to take you away and lead onto the wrong path. Make a note of whatever it is that inspires you, then move on. You can go back to it later and see if you feel the same.
When you have your selection, close the browser.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to put boundaries on your searching. If you are a disciplined person you probably don’t need to. But if you are easily led and prone to procrastination like me, then setting some rules will help.
Magazines such as Reloved are a good source of inspiration. I have a good read through, marking any pages with pictures or information that might be useful or a project I would like to try. I then cut them out of the magazine and put them in a folder, building up my own library of ideas.
One question that concerns some people is that of copying. It is wrong to copy other peoples work for commercial gain. The simple answer is yes, so don’t do it. But, having said that, there is nothing wrong with being inspired by someone elses ideas.
When searching for ideas and you find something you would like go for it. Don’t be scarred. What usually happens is, when you take an idea and start to think about it, or try and recreate it, you put a bit of yourself into it. A technique or style unique to you, which ultimately evolves the original into something only you could have made.