If you are looking for inspiration, playing tourist might be a fun place to start. Pinterest, Instagram, and blogs are all great sources. However, if you want to stir up some creative juices, a fieldtrip is better. It's more enjoyable because inspiration flows together with your experience.
Last Sunday, I decided to go out into the world. As an architect on demand, I love putting myself into other people's shoes. It was a perfect day for playing tourist. I headed out into my own neighborhood of cute cafes, unique shops, galleries, museums, and other public spaces. I set out to be adventurous and open.
I did not know what I was looking for, thus I started with a couple of manicured gardens on my street. Then, I ventured into a ceramics studio called Bitter Root Pottery on the corner of my quiet residential street and a busy urban thoroughfare. I've never been there before. Playing tourist gave me an opportunity to explore this creative hub. I even got a tour of the place. I walked out with a schedule and an inspiration to take a class.
Playing tourist means searching far and wide, discovering new things, and taking mental notes in the process
Walking by a beautiful tree with a red trunk, I thought: "What if I photograph bark?" As a result, I became drawn to various trees on the way. In the process, not to be overwhelmed, I decided to focus on palms. Nature is a true creative inspiration!
I had a destination in mind. I was walking toward LACMA. But, playing tourist means being open to unexpected. I took my time to soak in whatever came my way. I got a kick out of a sign "soulmate specialist." Hm. Then, I stumbled upon a real treasure of a vintage and retro home furnishings store TINI. The sign over their door read: "This is not IKEA." Heavenly. This is definitely a creative well, a treasure trove, and a place to come back to for inspiration.
Collecting mementos & postcards, taking pictures can be an excellent source of inspiration: the idea is to recognize and record what you respond to on a visceral level
Next, I had to check out the new façade of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Oh, I forgot to mention that a stranger on the street paid me a compliment. It made me smile. Playing tourist put me in the right mood to engage in a conversation with a security guard who stopped me from going under the "skin" of the building (see a collage of images above). I asked if he likes it and his answer was that he is paid to say he does.
As I got to LACMA and reached for a credit card in the back pocket, it was missing. I wanted to extend my membership and see Frank Gehry's exhibit. Oh well. Things like that are supposed happen when you are playing tourist. I noticed Rodin sculptures and pretended to be in Paris until I read the sign. See below:
I hope you are not getting tired of this story. I wasn't. Since I was playing tourist, I had to walk through the Grove. Sweet Rose Creamery ice cream could have been a perfect treat at the end of the 3-hour walk. Next time I'll try not to lose my money. Playing tourist afforded other rewards, though.
Alla is an architect on demand advising DIY home improvement enthusiasts online.
This post originally appeared on allaDIYally.com