keep yourself inspired

Winters can get really bad for me; I get into "hibernation mode" and all I want to do is sleep and stay warm.  The last thing I think about is doing location shooting in the winter - its freezing!  When I get in the doldrums and start moping around in a depression-like funk, I find ways to try to pick my spirits up and get me reinvigorated and inspired. For me, I like to browse around Flickr. I'll just randomly start searching for things tossing out random words, or I'll peek into some of the user groups and look at images there.  Usually what happens is I'll find something that is simply gorgeous, and I'll add it to a "favorites" column that I can bring up again and again.  Whenever I'm feeling like I need a shot of motivation, I'll bring up my favorites and take a long peek.

When I first started doing this, I got worried that I'd try to copy the shots I was looking at, so I try to make a real effort to harness the motivational feeling the images give me but not the actual visual layout or content.  The dangerous side of looking at really inspiring work when you are in a funk is that you  might just toss your hands up in the air and say "That's it!  I give up!  Everyone else is doing better work than me!".  So I have to be careful sometimes when I'm looking.

Sometimes it is a color, or it might be the angle of a shot.  Sometimes it isn't in the image at all, but its a feeling I bring into it.  Sometimes the image might be titalating or fantastical.  Whatever it is, I try to focus the energy of the image, and the energy of the emotions the image creates in me, to go and shoot.  Even if I can't shoot, it still picks my spirits up and helps me harness positive energy.

Above is a mosaic of images that I've marked as my favorites.  I never get tired looking at these images.  There is so much creative talent out there in the world it gets overwhelming.

What do YOU do to keep inspired?

Cheers, Sid