No Pins Required: Finding Inspiration Beyond Pinterest As a Creative

Let’s talk about inspiration, shall we? Because let’s face it, as creatives, we’re always on the lookout for fresh inspo, whether it’s for our business, client projects, or just to feed our own creative souls.

Enter Pinterest—the delightful and endless rabbit hole 🐰of creativity at our fingertips. From DIY projects to dreamy home decor, and outfit inspiration, Pinterest really does have it all 💅🏻

But let’s be real, getting lost in a Pin scroll can be all too easy, and if we’re not careful, it can lead to a serious case of comparisonitis and copy-cat syndrome. 

Pinterest, bless her beautiful heart, has kind of unintentionally created a copy-and-paste culture. 

Need ideas for styling your white jeans? Pinterest has got your back, complete with links to the EXACT same items and step-by-step guides. 

But like, doesn’t that kinda take away some of the fun? 

Pinterest kinda reminds me of those “who wore it better” sections in magazines. Sure, we’re all unique individuals with our own sense of style, but when we’re bombarded with images of celebs wearing the EXACT same designer dress, it can’t help but make you cringe a little 😬

And guess what? 

This copycat mentality isn’t just confined to fashion and home decor—it seeps into the world of branding and design too. 

As a designer, part of my process involves clients creating Pinterest boards to convey their visual vibe. But all too often, they’ll spot something they love and ask me to replicate it. And while I’m all for capturing a vibe, straight-up copying? Not my jam.

So, how do we break free from the beautiful Pinterest bubble and find inspiration beyond the pins? 

Well, here are some of my favorite non-Pinterest ways to get those creative juices flowing…🧃 

12 Non-Pinterest Ways To Find Inspiration As a Creative

1. Travel: ✈️

There’s nothing quite like exploring new places and immersing yourself in different cultures to add a lil extra spark to your creativity. 

Whenever I visit a new place, I make a point to be extra observant so I can fully absorb the local culture, art, and architecture. 

I love taking that inspiration and finding a way to incorporate it into my designs—like using colors or patterns inspired by the places I’ve visited. 

So next time you’re headed out of town, think about how your trip can inspire your work. 

And if you’re reading this and thinking, Lorin, I don’t travel anywhere—I get it because lately, same. We can’t all be living that nomadic lifestyle (I’m not).  

Buuuut I challenge you to rethink the way you look at “travel”. 

This could be as simple as going ANYWHERE that is outside of your normal environment, like a coffee shop in the next town over, a new restaurant, or heck, even driving down a street you’ve never been down before in your city. In fact, I just did this recently and found a mural on a wall that I had never noticed before! 

2. Books, magazines, and other printed material: 📚

I’m a huge fan of diving into books and magazines for fresh ideas. Whether it’s reading for my book club or admiring the editorial layouts of my favorite fashion magazines, I’m always thinking about ways I can incorporate concepts I’ve read, or unique layouts I’ve seen, into my work. 

As a designer, typography is a huge part of creating cohesive designs and sometimes the coolest ideas come to me from looking at other printed materials, like old records, flyers, billboards, and random stickers I see slapped on the sides of buildings or on the street. 

If you’re in a non-design creative business, think about how reading can fuel your creativity in a way that you may not expect. 

Honestly, sometimes just allowing yourself some time and space to be off a screen and dive into some good old-fashioned hard copies of printed materials can remind your brain to think outside of pixels on a screen and what things can look like IRL. 

This is especially helpful for me when it comes to mocking things up for clients. Business cards and other printed materials are NOT dead, and being able to actually touch and feel examples in real life, can help when it comes to applying concepts to a digital mockup. 

3. Community and conversations: 🗣️

Connecting with actual human beings, who would of thunk? 🤔

But seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had some of my most brilliant ideas pop into my head after having a cool convo with another human. 

Of course, meeting up with someone IRL hits differently, but having meaningful conversations over Zoom or in the DMs is also such a great way to kickstart your creativity. 

I’ve mentioned several times before that I’m part of a book club—it’s completely online btw, but my absolute fave part of book club is the conversations we have over Zoom. 

I feel like reading the book and then talking about it afterward gives my brain two opportunities to process the information, aka two whole opportunities to kickstart my creativity!

In fact, I got inspired to create my free Notion template, after having a conversation with my book club cuties, based on a book we read called The 12 Week Year. 

This then led to elaborating on it further by turning it into a blog post! How cool is that?!  

So if you’re feeling like your creativity is feeling stale and Pinterest is calling your name, instead of succumbing to the scroll, try reaching out to your biz besties, or consider getting involved with a club…or here’s a wild idea…actually get SOCIAL on social media! *gasp* 😱

I know, right? 

The point is, get out there and see what happens. You never know, you might just be one conversation away from your next great idea. 

4. Mindfulness and Meditation: 🧘‍♀️

On the flip side, sometimes ya need to be AWAY from people and take some time to just be you. Alone. In a room. With nothing but your thoughts. 

To quiet your mind and let inspiration come to you. 

I’m talking, turn off your damn phone, or at the very least, put it on do not disturb, and LET YOUR MIND WONDER. 

Oh my, what a concept! 

Okay, but like I know this can sound scary to be alone with your thoughts, thinking you need to be meditating the ‘right way’—spoiler alert, there is no right way, there is only YOUR way. And if that’s not your thing, then no pressure. 

Having said that, I do think we can all benefit from a few minutes of peace and quiet throughout our day. After all, we’re so bombarded by a million and one noises and interruptions, that intentionally making a point to be still and present can help release some stress or anxiety and get more in tune with how your mind and body are feeling, which might just be what you need to unlock your creativity and get reinspired. 

At the very least, taking a few minutes to ground yourself, can help regulate your nervous system so you can approach the day more clearly and figure out what else you may need to get reinspired. 

If you’re not sure what you need to help set you up for a smooth day, check out this blog post. 

5. Journaling and Reflection: ✍🏻

Exploring your thoughts through reflective journaling is a great way to find inspiration. 

I’ve been a huge fan of what I like to call “morning notes” for the last few years.

After reading The Artist’s Way (in book club 💁‍♀️), I began the habit of doing a daily brain dump. 

I literally set a timer for 20 minutes and let my thoughts flow out of my brain and onto the page without worrying about needing to spell-check or censor my thoughts in any way. I just let them flow. 

There’s something about putting pen to paper that really helps with processing information, at least for me anyway. I’ve had some massive creative breakthroughs when I’ve allowed myself the time and space to essentially write through them. 

Even journaling about my latest trip or a workshop I’m looking forward to has jogged my memory of something someone said to me or a story I heard about that gives me inspiration for my newsletter or blog. 

And if you’re reading this thinking, Lorin, I hate journaling because I don’t like my handwriting—-SAME! This is why I stopped writing in a physical journal years ago, and go the digital route these days. 

The easiest way to digitally journal is to keep a running Google doc, or if you’re a Notion girlie, like me, try using a daily journal entry template. It’s honestly been a total game changer because I also find that I can type way faster than I write, so my fingers have a better chance of keeping up with my racing thoughts when I type it out. 

6. Music: 🎵

Music has always been such a big part of my life. I grew up in a household full of musicians and was a total band nerd in high school—yes, I prefer nerd to geek thank you very much 🤓 

But even if you weren’t a band nerd, the love of music is universal. 

Music can impact your emotions, productivity, and overall imagination. Think about how you feel that deep hit of nostalgia when you hear a song you haven’t heard in years and it immediately takes you back to a moment in time. 

Or maybe you’re in the middle of a difficult workout thinking you can’t possibly continue on, but then a song comes on that totally amps you up and gives you that extra boost that you need. 

Music is truly one of the most inspiring forms of expression and can help you get those creative juices flowing. 

So next time you’re tempted to pin your little heart out, maybe try revisiting lyrics from your favorite song, or watch your favorite music video to see if you can’t find a different way to get inspired. 

Which brings me to my next point…

7. Movies and TV Shows: 📺

I freaking LOVE movies! 

I worked at the local movie theater all through high school and was completely obsessed with watching every single movie that came to our tiny lil town. It was a way for me to escape my own reality and dive into so many cool worlds. 

We can gain SOOOOO much inspiration through movies and TV shows…from powerful storytelling to quirky characters, to set and costume design, to the unique ways they combine visuals with music. The inspo is truly endless. 

One thing I absolutely LOVE doing is dissecting characters’ personal brands. Like, take Lorelai Gilmore, for instance. She’s a whole vibe. If she were a personal brand, I can totally picture her with a laid-back yet stylish look. For her visuals, think earth tones mixed with pops of vibrant colors—like a cozy coffee shop but one that has a quirky off-beat theme. Just like her personality, her brand would be approachable but with a hint of sass.

You get where I’m going here? 

Try popping in your favorite movie or look at some pics of your fave TV character next time you want to get some non-Pinterest inspo. 

In fact, I recently created an entire blog post on productivity that was inspired by the beloved Pixar movie A Bugs Life!

8. Fashion: 👠

Who doesn’t LOVE fashion?!

Beautiful textures, vibrant colors, and sculptural silhouettes we see in high fashion magazines or on the runway, are not only a freakin art form to be admired, but they can also provide soooo much inspo for your business or your personal style.

Speaking of personal style, I want to touch on this a bit more, because the way you get dressed, and the outfits you put together say so much about you, your personality, and your personal brand! 🧥

For example, are you a casual, laid-back girlie who lives in jeans and sneakers (ahem–that’s me!) or are you into wearing dresses, heels, and doing your hair a lil fancy? 

Next time you get dressed think of it as an art form for creativity and inspiration. ALso, this is a GREAT opportunity to think about how you can be “on brand” through your outfit—match colors, accessories, etc. 

Check out this blog post for more tips on how you can bring more personality into your personal brand including through your fashion choices. 

9. Nature: 🍃

I freaking LOVE nature. Don’t you?

Taking 20 minutes out of your day to go on a walk (sans phone!), even if it’s simply around the neighborhood or to the park you’ve been to a gazillion times. I promise it will give you the opportunity to be inspired by the natural elements around you—like the texture of the grass on your neighbor’s lawn, or the pebbles scattered about in the driveway, the sound of the breeze wisping through the trees, or the color of the wildflowers that popped up overnight. 

There is so much inspiration waiting for you to just simply take a moment to notice it. 

Some cute nature things that always inspire me:

  • The colors of sunrises and sunsets 🌅
  • The shape of the clouds ☁️
  • Shadows 👤
  • Water in any form (i.e. rivers, rain, sprinklers, dew drops, fog) 💧
  • Birds, bugs, and other creatures I pass along the way 🦆🐜🦋

10. Movement: 🏃‍♀️

Okay, this ties in with getting outside and going on a walk, run, or hike of some sort. But movement can look like anything that feels good to you. 

Are you into yoga? Awesome! Take a class, and see how you feel afterward. I bet if you were particularly feeling meh, uninspired, or even experiencing a creative block, you’ll probs have more clarity and energy afterward. 

Something I also like to do, that is movement-related but feels a bit more productive (because you know how I LOVE to be productive lol) is to combine movement with a work task. 

For example, if I need to do research for a branding project, but I’m feeling uninspired and tempted to go down a Pinterest rabbit hole, I’ll opt for an “inspiration walk” instead. 

This looks like observing fonts on local signage, going to the thrift store to browse old records or checking out a new restaurant or coffee shop to see if I can’t get those creative juices flowing. I swear it works every time!

11. Play: 🤸‍♀️

Remember when you were a kid and you would have “playdates” with your friends or recess at school? Ahhh those were the days.

I don’t know about you, but some of my most cherished memories are when I simply allowed myself to play. To have fun.To be SILLY! 🤪

There was this one time that my cousin and I opened up a box of random colorful pieces of fabric at my grandma’s house and decided to incorporate them into our outfit, pretend like we had British accents, and stand out by the side of the road waving at strangers—okay this sounds soooo wild when I see it written on a page 🤣 but my excuse is that I was a middle kid mmmkay. Nuf said. 

Buuuut the point I’m trying to make here is that we weren’t afraid to let our creative ideas run wild! We didn’t stop ourselves from, well, BEing ourselves, or looking stupid (and we DID, in fact, look stupid)

But ya know what? We didn’t care. We were just happy to PLAY. 

I think that’s something that we often forget once we’ve started to monetize our creative ideas. We start to suck the fun out of it which leaves us feeling uninspired and frustrated. 

We put too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect idea the first time and that’s just not reality. 

We need to allow ourselves to be silly, have fun, experiment, and not take ourselves so seriously—and when we DO we’re taking the pressure off which in turn allows us to often have a burst of creativity. 

So next time you’re feeling uninspired, try incorporating more play and experimentation into your day. 

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake! Create just to create. For FUN. Without judgment. 

What did you love doing as a kid? Sometimes nurturing your inner child helps bring fresh inspo.

12. Look within:🪞

Seems a lil woo woo, but hear me out. 

Tying this into what I talked about above…by allowing yourself to play, you can find so much inspiration if you look within. 

Not in an egotistical way of course, but maybe try creating a list of things that you admire about yourself, things you’re proud of that you’ve done or accomplished in your life so far. 

Do a big ol’ brain dump if you have to (revisit #5 for journal & reflection ideas).

Or maybe look at photos of yourself as a kid—I don’t know about you, but lil Lorin was so fearless, fun, silly, and ALWAYS cooking up new creative ideas. 

We can learn a lot from our younger selves and get re-inspired in a way that might surprise you. 

To wrap things up….

Remember, while Pinterest might be a convenient starting point, let’s not forget to look BEYOND the pins and embrace some other creative outlets for gathering inspo. You never know, they could be just the thing you need to spark that fresh idea you’ve been hoping for. 

Tried all the things and still, feel stuck with finding inspiration for YOUR Brand? I can help! 🙋‍♀️Peep my branding and web design services or reach out so we can help you get re-inspired and prevent you from going down a never-ending Pinterest rabbit hole.


Branding, Lifestyle

Instagram Links Page Template

download now >>

Because Your linktree bio isn't doing you any favors.

Designed for showit


Instagram Links Page Template

download now >>

Because Your linktree bio isn't doing you any favors.

Designed for showit


but seriously, who does this?!

don't miss out!

show me the way >>

our favorite business resources.

inquiring minds want to know

Because we don't believe in gatekeeping—it's like so uncool.