What do you do for Inspiration?

I’m not a big fan of the Q&A portion of lectures. That feeling changed on January 26 at a local AIGA DC lecture by Matteo Bologna of Mucca Design.

Matteo Bologna is the creative director and founder of the branding firm, Mucca Design. Mucca Design’s projects spans multiple disciplines including publishing, fashion, technology and restaurants with clients such as Rizzoli, Adobe, Harper Collins, Wired Magazine and the Patina Restaurant Group.   Their client work is diverse and reflects a passion for typography, color and the humorous insight.

Mr. Bologna is an adept public speaker who projected joy with humorous tales that included the journey that brought him from Italy to the United States to practice design.

It was no surprise that the audience of  creative professionals and design students had loads of questions about running a design firm, what he looks for in the talent that he hires and what it was like to design work for brilliant clients like Steve Martin.

It was getting kinda late when an audience member asked Mr. Bologna this question.

What  do you do inspiration?

I jolted awake!

Mr. Bologna was quiet for a moment.

Then, he said that he wasn’t sure if he believed in” inspiration” with a capital “I” .

What he did believe in was research.

He didn’t say that he used the research- oriented design method (that would be blah blah – click to check out lecture poster). He just followed the statement by explaining that when projects come into Mucca Design there is an amazing amount of research that goes into solving the creative problem for the client.

Since then,  I’ve been wondering if research leads to inspiration. Do you think inspiration is a brilliant flash that happens suddenly or is it the result of groundwork that goes into understanding a problem and it’s potential solution?  Hard work, sudden flash of brilliance or both?