Leaving Home for Inspiration

I will admit that even though this winter isn't NEARLY as horrid as last winter was, it is hitting me. HARD. This last week the winter blues got me good. I was out of my mind, out of ideas, and struggling to come up for air. I don't suffer from seasonal depression, by any means, but I think all of us have ruts we fall into. 

It's during times like these that I usually seek an inspiring adventure. Sometimes you just have to step away, get out, and explore to reawaken your senses and creativity.  Today I wanted to share a few of these places that have helped me in the past, in case you too are feeling out of sorts during this snowy season.

NATURE

There is something unwinding about being in nature. It cures all kinds of ailments, and sets me back on the right path. My three favorite places in Chicago are the Garfield Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Conservatory and Chicago Botanic Gardens. The Forest Preserve and the beach come as close followers! 

ART MUSEUMS

Being surrounded by the Greats, those influential artists who gave us something to aspire to so long ago, always brings me light. Strolling through rooms, admiring the brush strokes, color palettes, and curves of each piece of art...I can't help but be filled with awe and admiration. When I can't get to the museum, I will browse collections online or pull an art book off the shelf. I almost always leave with some inkling of inspiration!

LIBRARIES | BOOKSTORES

Have you ever wandered into a library or bookstore and visited a section that you wouldn't normally be drawn to? You'd be surprised what you might find. It can be so enlightening to explore something not normally in your comfort zone. Admittedly, I'm not generally interested in abstract art periods, but I find the colors usually used to be exhilarating! Do you usually read non-fiction? Maybe try jumping into a work of fiction to open up your mind! 
I am also incredibly nerdy about book design, and find the intricate design choices to be extremely inspiring. It varies incredibly from genre to genre, and if you look closely you will sometimes notice patterns throughout each genre. I love looking at books and thinking about why a designer made the choices they did for that particular book and its themes. 

TOY STORES

One thing I find incredibly important is to try to hold onto your child-like wonder and innocence. This world is full of cynics, and I think we could use a little more magic! Every once in awhile I'll go to a children's store like The Land of Nod or browse an online shop to open myself to possibility. 

CONFERENCES | TALKS

When all is fails, I go to LEARN. When I'm in a rut, sometimes it is because I'm lacking the skills or knowledge to move forward with a project. At that point, I look up online videos, tutorials, local conferences and sometimes watch an occasional TedTalk to boost myself up and push me forward. 

Where do you go for inspiration?