Do you get inspired by the Internet? Because I sure as green-is-the-best-flavoured-fruit-pastille do. The Internet is brimming with such creativity that I can’t help but get inspired. I mean, even the most factual and functional of websites have some creativity behind them. Someone thought about their design process and ummed and ahhed over font colours and column widths for at least two minutes.
Before the Internet we had to buy magazines and books and visit art galleries and the like to get inspired, and though we should probably still do those things, it’s just nice sometimes to be connected to amazingly talented people, people who we would never normally encounter, through the Internet as well.
Often it’s the social media sites that lead the way for creativity. Websites like Tumblr show off people’s artistic skills in such a way that even I, someone who isn’t talented enough to draw a stick figure, get so inspired by. These illustrations are so good that I sometimes break out my coloured pencil set because I believe that if I try hard enough, I can create a nice drawing like them.
Then there’s Instagram and Flickr that make me want to bust my camera out and take beautiful photos, Twitter that makes me want to sharpen my wit and Pinterest where I turn to for inspiration for creativity in the home, although I never actually put paintbrush to paintpot as I’m way too disorganised. All these websites encourage me in small ways to do something.
And how about the blogs? These corners of the Internet that people have created and cultivated, where they’ve built their following and developed their voice, that make me want to up my writing game. Where people have essentially created something, perhaps even a business, from nothing and with no help other than from promoting their own talents and creativity.
The Internet is awash with people being creative and I’m convinced that this is a good thing, that this creativity breeds more creativity. How many times have you seen something amazing on the Internet and been so inspired by it that you’ve subsequently taken action, even if it’s only something small like changing the way you make cheese on toast?
There is, of course, a counter argument that the Internet is killing creativity. That it makes us procrastinate more. That instead of finishing that essay, practising that tuba, painting that masterpiece, we head over to the internet for “Just 5 minutes” of browsing and then we get caught in the internet black hole until and it’s hours later and we know way more about Cheshire cheese than we ever thought was possible.
But I disagree that it’s killing creativity. If you’re going to procrastinate, you’re going to do it no matter what technology you have in front of you. I’ve procrastinated by watching whole seasons of Charmed on boxset and playing Super Mario Lands 1 and 2 on my ’90s Game Boy so much that it’s really no competition any more as I know exactly what will happen. I’ve even managed to procrastinate without the help of technology by playing with a hair clip for a few hours or just lying down without even napping.
So whilst the Internet isn’t perfect and sometimes shows off peoples’ worst sides, I also think that it shows off people’s best sides too. It shows us just how inventive, smart, funny and artistic people can be and I can’t help but be inspired by all these things. Yes, sometimes I’m so overcome with admiration that I’m overwhelmed by inertia, because how am I going to reach the standard that all these people have achieved? But then I remember that everyone started somewhere, no one came fully formed and the Internet can also show us the archives of the early days of these talented people where they were finding their feet. The main thing is to take the first step and always keep reading, watching and observing because there’s so much inspiration to be found on the Internet.
Got any tips for inspiration to be found on the internet? Any people that inspire you and you think we should all check out?
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