One of the things I love about working as a Graphic Designer is the opportunity to express myself, and lately my mind has been racing with ideas! It’s funny how ideas come to be, and it’s interesting how they overlap from one’s personal life to professional life (and back!)

I’ve always had an interest in art, music, fashion and interior design, but it seems that the older I get the more I’ve developed my own style. Although I am who I am because of the choices I’ve made in life, I still have to give props to those who influenced me along the way. And the credit would first go to my parents, who have always supported my choice of profession, even though they didn’t know a lot about it. Obviously, certain teachers played a role in helping develop my creativity, and some close friends and work associates inspired me to grow as well. Probably my biggest supporter and source of daily inspiration would be my husband, who is also a “creative” in graphics, video and web design.

Sometimes inspiration hits at the most unusal times and places, or from other individuals who have no idea they’ve made an impact on your life. Not long ago I became a Facebook fan of Hero Design – Buffalo’s own hometown success story. Not only are they responsible for the new look and feel of Buffalo.com, but they’ve managed to make it into the 2010 How Magazine Business Annual. Not too shabby! In visiting their online store, heroandsound.com, I found awesome one-of-a-kind screen prints, including several highlighting our great city of Buffalo. What a great Christmas gift!

When I’m feeling less inspired I often turn to several websites to get my creative juices flowing again. One such site is smashingmagazine.com. Along with really informative articles and great design from all over the world, I’ve enjoyed reviewing their free monthly desktop wallpapers. If you’re bored looking at the same ole’ desktop be sure to take a look. You won’t be disappointed!

Earlier I mentioned my affinity for interior design, and one site that stands out as one of my faves is apartmenttherapy.com. I could spend hours studying the amazing spaces posted by the average Joe (or Josephine) and I’ve gotten more ideas than I know what to do with! One feature is their Daily Scavenger – which posts a number of super cool pieces of furniture for sale by owner. What’s great about this feature is that it’s broken out by geographic location, because really – what’s the point in looking at an awesome mid-century modern chair if I’m in Buffalo, NY and the chair is in Lincoln, Nebraska?

One last site that I just can’t stay away from is etsy.com. If you appreciate anything creative & unique, then this is one site you don’t want to miss. From key chains made from old license plates, to Andy Warhol magnets, to gorgeous drapes and pillows – this place has it all! And the best part is that these items are all handmade.

So what inspires YOU?