Creative Thinkers in Show Business: Where To Look For Inspiration
Stuck for an idea? Find out what professional creatives do to get inspired. Photograph: Cavan Images/Getty Images
Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez believes that film-making "goes beyond the technological and goes into that realm of creativity, of storytelling. How you got there, whether you used a digital camera or your phone, doesn't matter. The idea is what rules at the end of the day." In his BlackBerry Keep Moving project, Rodriguez is asking fans around the world to help him communicate his idea, using their creative suggestions as sparks of inspiration.
But while technological know-how can be learned with practice and some handy insider tips, sometimes it takes a little special something – a misheard song lyric, a sentence in a book – to get that all important idea in the first place. Read on for some tips on how to get that spark of inspiration.
Chloe Rivers, singer
I try to listen to everything for inspiration, even songs that are not my usual taste. Listening to amazing music like this helps to inspire ideas around layering vocals, melodic strings and harmonies. I also use the voice recorder on my phone for melodies or beats that come into my head – and I never leave home without a notebook and pen.helenandthesirens.com
Misli Akdag, set decorator
I don't carry a sketchbook, but I always have my diary/notebook and I'm constantly taking pictures on my phone - it's like a visual diary. I'm making the photos into a book; when I look back, it's like reading pages from a diary, to see what inspired me.
Sara Morgan-Beckett, broadcast journalist
I'm a professional eavesdropper. I listen to people's conversations stepping off the train, the grinding screech of brakes and mechanical jarring of closing doors as their muffled chat then seeps away.
Chris Hugall, illustrator
Having a cup of tea and talking to my friends is the best motivation for me. I get excited hearing about what they are doing and creating – I bounce off of their energy and enthusiasm. I love getting an email link to a friend's project, or hearing about a new sound or band they like.chrishugall.carbonmade.com
Tommy Franzen, dancer
My passion is rock climbing, indoors and outside. It offers a sense of freedom and achievement; you get to unite with nature and demonstrate problem-solving skills. Often the path to the top can seem impossible or too challenging, but once you work out a route, and it's successful, it's very satisfying for the mind and body.
Amber Qureshi, publisher and editor
I keep around the best literary magazines - A Public Space, Bookforum - my books The White Tiger and Rage is Back, and great new books by Richard Hell and Sam Lipsyte, to remind myself of the writing I'm looking for. But literary inspiration comes from more than just reading. I get excited about great art and listening to good music. sevenstories.com
Jennifer Green, DJ
I avidly read music blogs; they help to spark ideas for mixes and expose me to new sounds. When I'm planning a set, sometimes I'll run with a theme, so I'll spend hours listening to certain genres of music on specific blogs, from 70s disco to 90s R&B. The Shazam app on my phone helps me identify new tracks that I hear when I'm out. soundcloud.com/jenny-sparks
Jake Saslow, jazz saxophonist
I am constantly searching for inspiration in everyday life. I enjoy taking a minute to pause and listen to the sounds around me, from leaves blowing in the wind to birds chirping. This always makes me think about the difference between 'sound' and 'music', because I hear music in everything. jakesaslow.com
Angela Evans, sports video producer
My job is all about telling stories through moving images so I love reviewing the cinematic works of moving picture pioneers. Awareness of how things move and where the light falls within the surrounding atmosphere is what makes a dynamic visual story. I look to the Lumière brothers' short film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat as a model of how to form strong and independent narratives.
Find out what inspires the film maker Robert Rodriguez and channel your creativity by sharing your ideas with him on his new film project onthe BlackBerry Keep Moving website.