just wanted to share an email from a friend, regarding the subject of Inspiration and Individuality.   He’s an art and design lecturer at a local university and college.

When I look out on the hillside of design, all I see are copies of what great designers have done before us. The landscape has become so congested with cookie-cutter homes that seeing the real people living inside has become hard. It’s like watching that movie Pleasantville, in which everything is black and white and no one knows any better, and yet there are those pursuing something different, something original.

There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from doing something you didn’t think you could. Whether you want to build websites, paint a mural, design icons or draw characters, I encourage you to make time for practice and to get away from the computer at least an hour a day. Pick up a book, take a walk, call a friend — do whatever you can to take your mind off technology (or beer). In those moments when we quiet our minds, inspiration comes and we can just be ourselves.

Just one last nugget before you finish:  don’t let a lack of inspiration overwhelm you or make you feel like less of a person. I know from personal experience that drowning in inspiration makes me feel unsuccessful. And yet when we judge ourselves against our own work, we hinder our growth. We have to find a balance between being inspired and being true to ourselves. That’s what makes the journey so exciting.