"Hey, Donald," I hear you yell at an unnecessarily high volume, "is that your name?"
"No," I reply in a voice that is so deep and manly it makes lumberjacks cry, "but I will tell you about the value of keeping a folder full of imagery that inspires you!"
"So... you're not Donald?"
"You just... you look like Donald."
Anyway, this Inspiring Idea is pretty straight forward. Any time you comes across an image that inspires you in some way, save it to your hard drive! It might give you an idea, it might look a lot like something you already have in your head, you might just like the image, whatever the reason; add it to your collection.
Here are a few images from my image archive.
I love sketches. It's like getting a glimpse of something the artist never intended to show you, something done without concern for whether or not it would work. This one in particular grabbed me because of the crying girl grabbing her arm. Hollywood seems have this misguided idea that if you put a speck of dirt on a girl she'll somehow become repulsive, so most female protagonists never get truly roughed up. Does she look repulsive? No, she looks human.
Look at that face! What a great face! So full of personality! Man, I could write a whole novel about that face.
In case you don't get what's happened in this picture, a flood has washed a bunch of houses away and they all stopped dead when they hit a train-line bridge. Truly a horrible event, but boy does it get the creative juices flowing! Imagine a chase scene across floating houses! Or imagine a neighborhood so over-developed that in order to navigate it you have to climb through other people's houses! There are all kinds of fantastical ideas here.
Unusual architecture? Hell yeah! I can't get enough of these "big boys tree house" sorta images. Mutt and I have a couple of concepts that really explore architecture like this and in this particular case it's done very well.
This is a simply beautiful painting, powerful and profound. Like a good bit of music, this can be excellent for tapping into an emotional mindset when writing war or death related materials, and it certainly helps in better understanding something you may not have ever experienced yourself.
The fact is, you never know when this stuff will come in handy later on. One day you might find yourself struggling to explain something or in the midst of a creative drought, then this folder might save your life.