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December 26, 2010

Who inspires you?

It's a wonderfully diverse world out there, filled with engaged individuals doing great things on a daily basis. Keep an open mind and everyday you'll have an opportunity to be stimulated and influenced by those special people. Who inspires you? Who sparks your creativity and motivates you to be better? Most importantly, who gives you the drive to become a source of inspiration for others?

Share your thoughts and help shape the dialogue in a meaningful way. Your contribution makes all the difference in building a stronger Design is Love community. Remember, Participation is caring.

12.12.10 / 9:43 PM
We're inspired by those who pour their heart and soul into work and life. Any person who creates any "thing" that connects emotionally with their intended audience is setting a great standard that we should all strive for. We also connect with individuals and groups who find new ways of approaching common obstacles with the agility and commitment of an Olympic hurdler, ready to take on issues at full speed with the confidence of practice and precision. Lastly, we're inspired by fearless individuals, who share their personal thoughts with a larger audience that they may never meet, in hopes of helping to shape the voice and culture of Design is Love. Many thanks everyone.
12.21.10 / 7:45 AM
I've been inspired by how perfectly Einstein simplified, how Jim Dine and Proust drilled down, how Kurosawa made complicated things graceful and honest at the same time, how Tom Waits made a tired old style personal and new. But mostly, I'm inspired by a lunch with John Updike over a decade ago around the release of The Beauty of the Lilies. I was struggling with the idea of needing to be inspired... I've never been motivated by it and felt kind of weird. He pointed out that everything is a story or has a story built into it. Everything. And each story had a specific arc and attributories. One controls the tension the other controls the access. The definer determines which. That simplified everything for me. To be inspired or not inspired stopped mattering so much in the context of extruding the truth of a thing.
12.26.10 / 2:26 PM
I just spent the better part of thirty minutes looking at my books, scrolling through my music, thinking about my friends & family, then thinking about strangers. All the while trying to realize who inspires me.

What I'm finding is that when I come up with someone, I realize that I'm quite envious of what they do rather than solely being inspired by what they do. That realization isn't very inspiring, but it is honest. Maybe inspiration & envy are two sides of the same coin?

I just looked down, after reading & re-reading what I just wrote, and saw my green sketchbook that my friend Don gave me years ago. I carried this book with me while I spent 2 weeks in Italy. I experienced so many terrifically inspiring things and filled the book with my own accounts, writings and sketches. That book isn't what is inspiring to me right now.

It's what is sitting on top of it.

Which is a torn piece of paper, stained & old. It has an excerpt from a book that I don't remember by someone whose name I can't recall. I love the excerpt and every time I read it, I get inspired. With no hint of envy.

I am inspired by that person. I wish I knew their name or more about where the excerpt came from, but I know that isn't really the point.
12.26.10 / 3:38 PM
Rich and Brian's responses have given me some great things to think about and I am also curious what the excerpt on that piece of paper Brian had says. For me, right now there are these five people that are constantly inspiring me, in simple list form –

Bruce Mau

Maira Kalman

Frank Chimero

Liz Danzico

Sir Ken Robinson

And of course, the people I am inspired by are the people I surround myself with and for all of them I am grateful.
12.26.10 / 10:12 PM
I'm inspired by "calculated risk takers". I define these people as those who are willing to make a decision not because it makes the most sense for now, but because they understand the complexity and value of premonition and anticipation. History has an odd way of valuing committed decision makers, either classifying them as oddities or rare geniuses. People who dared to challenge in whom I find inspiration: Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Buckminster Fuller, Jackson Pollock, Stefan Sagmeister...

To honor Brian's statement I thought I'd include a favorite quote from Fuller, in which he expressed a commitment to constantly participate in "an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity."


We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

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