Inspiration is like lightning – it strikes where and when it wants. As a creative, I’m obliged, metaphorically speaking, to hang around trees and water in thunderstorms in the hope of being struck. In my experience there is no sure-fire process for this, other than learning to be continuously receptive, open and alert. In other words, all I can do is clear the ground and pray for rain.

Like any designer, I see lots of work and I also get a lot of visual stimulus elsewhere – art, films, TV and places I visit. The sheer abundance of the visual field could easily be overwhelming.

My discipline is to make time for exploration that isn’t either programmed (such as visiting a gallery) or dictated professionally. A recent example are the pictures I took of water droplet patterns on the plastic cups we use at Wolff Olins. I noticed that different people left different patterns and then did a short project looking at how these came about and how they could make interesting pictures. I think taking time for free, visual exploration is really the key to staying alert and open. It’s all anyone can do, practically, to encourage the lightning to strike them.

Keshen Teo

Wolf Olins

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