20 Comments

  1. I think it is true to a certain extent. So many blogs regurgitate the same material and I end up in one big circle. Although every now and then I do find true inspiration from my RSS rounds. I’d say shutting off the computer for a day or two and going out in the world is very important to revive creativity.

  2. I agree a lot. There is a lot of recycling. And, dare I say, not a whole lot of articulation in most blogs, (and I’m guilty of that too.)

    Real creativity for me requires not just images and “ooohs”, but ideas and thoughts put into words.

    That said, I don’t think blogs are bad for creativity. I just don’t think they should be wholly relied on. There’s more to life…

  3. hm, I have also been thinking about that…I do get overloaded and bored with it. But I like blogs for keeping up with friends, and making some friends, inspiration comes from experience,and blogs just can never be that.

  4. I have been thinking about this a lot, too.

    I think as a visual person with a mind always greedy for images it’s hard to resist the internet, but I am paring back my blog reader to the handful that truly inspire me every day. It’s not originality that’s the most important to me (although it is always welcome), but a sense of curating a space, editing and choosing, creating a new way to see things.

  5. It isn’t only limitation that inspires creativity! In fact, sometimes – USUALLY – it is seeing tons of amazing paintings and prints, reading a handful of wonderful writers all in a row, or browsing the “Explore” section on Flickr that makes me shout to myself, “Me too! I want to make, too!”

    So very motivated by an OVER ABUNDANCE of other people’s creativity am I that I grab my glue gun, or my sewing kit, or my pen, or my camera, and set out, DEEPLY inspired, to make art of my own.

    I’m not alone in this, am I?

  6. Hmm…I think it’s true at times, not during others. The are times, for me, that I think creativity breeds creativity. It helps o see what others are creating but on the other hand sometimes it’s nothing at all that inspires!

    I’m torn.

  7. Funny, I was just thinking this morning that years ago when I sat down to write, my writing machine (typewriter or computer) wasn’t also a gateway into all of this (mostly lovely) interaction…

  8. i totally agree! so often i feel just stuffed trying to keep up with blogs–it feels very much like overeating and feeling overly full all the time. i am taking a break from my computer at home for the next several weeks–i need some time to clear the pipes and let my own ideas back into my head.
    also, i just think alec soth’s work is so great, so i am inclined to agree 🙂

  9. What a thought-provoking quote. I, too, have become sorta burned out from trying to read all the blogs currently in my Google reader, some of which have updates 10 times a day or more! I think some editing down is in order; more book time and a little less blog time.

  10. Like a lot of you, I sometimes feel like blogs feel like a pool of regurgitated information and when everyone is passing the same info back and forth it doesn’t always inspire new thought. Amber, I do agree. I have often been very inspired by bloggers. I guess it’s a matter of balance. This morning I was inspired by all of your thoughts, to only read a selection of my Google Reader instead of trying to eat all of it up. It feels good. Thank you!

  11. Interesting! I hadn’t thought of this. Maybe because I don’t consider myself a very creative person by nature, blogs like yours help push me to discover my inner creativity. But I can see how limitless resources can short circuit this creativity. xo

  12. Yep. I’ve been limiting my reader. Big time. Still a bit overloaded, but I’ve been thinking about which blogs I love (vs. feel like I should love/keep up with).

    I think the magic is in the doing… so people that are doing something really cool, as opposed to re-posting, that is where the magic is at.

  13. Without fail, when I’m feeling a lack of creativity, I completely unplug and explore…get outside, visit museums, see, smell, touch. That does the trick. I’m not so sure it’s the volume of blogs that’s the issue as as taking a regular break from them…maintaining a balance.

    All that said, I read the idea “limitation spawns creativity” a little differently. I don’t think it’s so much about limiting “inspiration” (regardless of if it comes in the form of millions of design blogs) as it’s about limiting resources. I know for sure I was more creative when I was in college and totally poor, subsisting on ramen noodles. I couldn’t buy anything so I made stuff…and I couldn’t afford fancy materials, so I had to think outside of the box.

    That was my take at least 😉

  14. I think blogs are like anything else – TV, movies, etc…
    You have to filter out some things. I put a high value on inspiration and when you find the right bit of inspiration – it is an absolute gem.

  15. the internet can give so many great ideas and inspirations, but you need to have a balance (at least, that’s what i’ve definitely found in my life.) if i do too much internet and don’t have enough down time, i feel uninspired. but if i go on a bike ride or sit down outside for a while or go on a little vacation, i get a rush of ideas. thanks for this post, chelsea! so smart and great!

  16. Great post Chelsea. Flickr and blog reading inspire my creativity, but I have to be really careful with how much time I spend online. Not because the blogs themselves aren’t inspiring, but there are only so many hours in the day. An extra half hour online is time when I could be reading, taking pictures, etc.

  17. Hmmm. Interesting idea. My gut reaction was to disagree but the more I think about it it does have some truth to it. I think sometime my own taste, thoughts and creativity getting a little lost when I spend to much time in front of the computer screen and it is is when I am away from it or not searching for inspiration that the best ideas come to me. Thank you for the excellent food for thought!

  18. I agree with Joslyn. I read it the same way. In fact, I’m reading a book right now called The Creative Habit that talks about this very topic. Her words…When the gods wish to destroy, they give unlimited resources.

  19. I’m not sure when finding and posting “I like this” or “I want this” on a blog became synonymous with design or creativity. Good for passing the time? Yes. Inspirational? Maybe not…

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