As a designer, whether it be fashion, shoes, accessories, companies think that you can create at a drop of a hat! Please design 10 shoes in one week…oh yeah, and we want original concepts…uh, hello, sure, I will just sit at my desk, and plug away, and you will have the most beautiful ideas in a few days.  No problem! It doesn’t work like that people. However, we must do what we have to do, right? It’s how we make our money.. by creating. Unfortunately, sometimes it has to be fast!

So, what do you do? Your feeling run down by the previous weeks designs you had to come up with? Or you just came back from China and now you have to add more concepts to the collection? Or your company just let go of other designers due to the economy and now you have to cover their work, right? Don’t sigh, okay sigh, but move on!

Here are a few things I do to keep the flow of my creativity going. Maybe this will help you!

1. You don’t have a lot of time to shop around or even go out to get inspired. Not to worry. Sit down and pick 5 stores you love, have interesting products ( it’s doesn’t have to be what you design. Sometimes, I don’t go looking at shoes because it disrupts my creativity.  Living in Los Angeles, gives me the opportunity to have an array of stores to check out. Some shops I like to check out when I have very little time are:

Ten Over Six, www.tenover6.com, is an awesome store. The interiors of the store are inspirational on it’s own. They also have cool products such as shoes, apparel, home accessories, bags, small leather goods, etc. It’s a great way to be inspired in all aspects.

American Rag, www.amrag.com, has been my favorite since I was a kid.They have a fantastic vintage department, denim bar, and the shoe department is small but they have brands or shoes I have not seen at many stores! Oh yeah, and a cute little cafe where you can bring your sketch pad and draw up some ideas! The location is great and if you can spare some time go by the other stores on La Brea.

Barney’s is great way to see what everyone is doing in one spot. It’s great to see what all the high end designers are doing and what trends are dominating that season.

Fred Segal/Madison Santa Monica is my personal favorite. I love going into Madison and the sneaker shop across the way. In general, I just like going to all the little shops inside Fred Segal to get inspired. It’s kind of a one stop shop to see well designed products.

Opening Ceremony- I am not really all that impressed with their shoe department. However, I love seeing their clothing selection and accessories. Their designer selection is divine! I always leave their wanting to cry! I want it all!

Oh yeah, and I try to find one vintage shop. Right now, I love Lemon Frog Shop in Echo Park. They have an amazing assortment of shoes, apparel, and accessories.

2. Online inspiration- Sometimes going out is hard. Especially when you work In-house, there can be red tape as to getting out or your so swamped that getting out is not possible. So, online is your only option. Sites I like to check out:

Shopstyle.com is a fantastic site. You can type in any thing you want and it could possibly be there. I also like their style boards featured by their followers.

Shopbop.com is another favorite. I love their designer selection and how organized it is. They also have great trend boards.

Style.com is great. However, it can take up some time. I try to look at designers I love or I consider my client and then look at brands that may resemble my clients brand.

I don’t always look at women’s apparel sites.  I really like going to www.highsnobeity.com. They have men’s inspired products, sneakers, accessories. There is definitely some great stuff here! Oh, and I love going to www.colette.fr to check out their fun website, products, and their nice music selection that they play on their site. Great ideas to add to your music library.

3. Blogs- This is an addiction of mine and many others I am sure. I go to bloglovin’ and look thru their blog list and create a personal list and I can look thru them whenever I have the time. However, sometimes, one blog can lead to another and then another. So, if your pressed for time, maybe don’t go there. However, I do get inspired sometimes or confused! Ha!

4. Fashion periodicals- There are a million of them. I have loads of magazines and never can really get thru them all. So, I pick my favorites which are Jalouse, Surface, Dwell, W Magazine, and some type European fashion mag like UK Vogue, or German Vogue, etc. I tend to like these types for inspiration. The others are more for research and see what’s going in trends so I limit those for when I have more time to peruse.

5. Go outside and take a moment for yourself.  Being on deadline can be very stressful. Sometimes, it causes burn out cause your just going and going. I try to go out, get a coffee, walk my dog or just do something for me. That little break goes a long way. Go and do something for yourself. One thing I did once was go  to Kid Robot and buy a surprise key chain. They are so fun and can give you that push to finish your project!

Do you have something that inspires you? Want to share it? Here are some things that are inspiring me!

Garland Chandelier by Tord Boontje

Garland Chandelier by Tord Boontje

I am so inspired by the website oaknyc.com. I love the designers they carry and the photography is very cool.

I am so inspired by the website oaknyc.com. I love the designers they carry and the photography is very cool.

Painting by New York based designer Matt Sohl

Pic provided by Matt Sohl

Hello Kitty Exhibit at Royal T

Hello Kitty Exhibit at Royal T

Office Plugs..it's never ending!

Office Plugs..it's never ending!

I love furniture...

I love furniture...