Inspiration or How to Be a Leader in Visual Thinking

Published: February 5, 2015

by Erin Nolan


noun in·spi·ra·tion | a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something.

Are you satisfied with merely admiring an object or person, or does that admiration lead you to create something new? Creation is the fulfillment of inspiration. Who or what inspires you?

I garner the majority of my personal inspiration from interacting with the natural world; however, there are some amazing online tools that help keep my mind active. Websites such as and, and are chock-full of cutting edge ideas. Here are some good examples of inspirational content to be found on these sites: the Sushi Towel Concept, rain-activated outdoor art, and surrealist papercut plant-animal hybrid sculptures.

image appears on wet sidewalk

Pluck ideas from various sources. Organize those ideas. Then integrate them to provide new perspectives.  Apply some critical thinking, and you’ve created something new! That is the secret to being a visual leader: synthesizing information from multiple sources to invent new concepts.

For example: The water-activated artwork article referenced above made me wonder what other fun messages could be saved for rainy days. In turn, this made me think of what types of guerilla marketing could be effective during a spring rain shower. Maybe a “deforestation of the rainforest” awareness message? Rain-barrel-use awareness? Rain boot sale on rainy days for a shoe store?

Keep your eyes open; you never know when inspiration will strike!