Give the Gift of Inspiration
It's good to give.
So soon after the holiday season, this idea is still at the forefront of our minds. The idea of giving back to the creative industry is no exception. We're not talking about pro bono work, open source code giveaways, or process tutorials (although these are all great things to give away); we're talking about giving the gift of inspiration.
Who among us has never referenced great web work when trying to design and build more great web work? It's a universally accepted staple of our industry. Give credit where credit is due, but don't reinvent the wheel. Build a better wheel.
Where does all the best reference work and inspiration come from? Sure, you could surf the web randomly, finding work you like and things you don't, but some great people have made some long strides toward making this inspiration more convenient to locate. Sites like Dribbble, Abduzeedo, and WebCreme come immediately to mind. They all have one thing in common: dedicated moderators, people who are willing to contribute their work, their time, and their expertise to populating these forums with breathtaking work.
The more people who contribute, the stronger the industry becomes. It's this idea that has driven the folks at Dumbwaiter to contribute for years. We have built a Vimeo Channel with 3,000+ followers. This channel, which we call Smart Motion, houses over 1,800 of the most innovative motion graphic and film shorts from the last four years. Even though Motion Graphics accounts for a fraction of Dumbwaiter's work, we simply love contributing to the seriously creative motion industry.
We urge you to do the same. Ask a friend for a Dribbble invite, start a Vimeo channel, or build your own inspiration forum. Browse around and look at what inspires others, and then show them what inspires you. Take a couple minutes a day to become an altruistic inspiration donor. The creative industry will thank you.