The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

Unplug Your Router graphic

3 reasons you need to get offline and go outside.

K2 from Cheeky Monkey Media here.

Alright, let’s be honest for a minute here. We’ve all spent our fair share of time browsing for ‘inspiration’. Today I’m going to going to tell you three reasons why that makes for uninteresting work.

Inspiration graphic1. You’re not innovating.

I admit it’s easy to become infatuated with a new style or trend and feel the need to emulate it. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, everyone’s done it, and it’s a good way to sharpen your skills. However, making the fifty-eighth Safari icon that’s been posted today isn’t doing anything new or anything special.

It’s far more valuable if you contribute to the conversation and try to come up with your own original ideas than to “create” something that’s already been done to death.

2. Your clients don’t care about what’s hot on Dribbble (and they shouldn’t).

Brain graphicThink about a design trend that was absolutely huge about nine months ago. Something like low-poly maybe? Well, just like something else that takes nine months, people get sick of hearing about it very soon if it doesn’t affect them directly. Without trying to offend anybody, the graphic design world is quite full of itself, especially when the internet is involved.

One designer tries something, hundreds copy it, then within two weeks the rest of them complain about oversaturation from seeing the style on every design blog. Meanwhile, your clients haven’t even noticed that this happened! The internet can be a totally toxic and terrifying place for designers.

Grow Ideas graphic3. You’re missing out.

Take a step outside. Look at the leaves on the trees. Check out the building around you. Examine the cracks in the sidewalks. Watch the cars flow through the streets. Take in the living world around you. I don’t want to sound like a new-age hippie or anything, but these are necessary things.

Take the elements of your environment and translate those into your work. Obviously, the free-flowing movement of a river won’t translate into a project for a heavy-duty machinery company, but maybe the architecture of that building down the block will.

What I’m trying to get at, is that we tend to fall into this mindset where we start designing digitally and get all of our ideas and inspiration digitally. Go outside! Get your ideas from your city, from nature! Talk to people, pick their brains! Design for your users, not for other designers.

Okay, I’ll shut up now. I guess I started rambling a bit. I do that periodically.

Here’s Your Challenge

What I want you to do is to get moving. Change up your work location. I want to hear about a time that you changed scenery and it helped change your perspective! Better yet, I’d love to see a pic of what inspires you while you’re out and about! Be sure to tag us @cheekymonkeymedia on Instagram so we can see it!

Now get out there, and get inspired!