Finding Inspiration on the Oregon Coast

Capturing coastal tones and textures to escape a creative rut.
Marissa Reedeker

If you’re fortunate enough to have a creative hobby, then you’re unfortunate enough to have experienced a creative rut. There are a lot of suggestions on how to get out of these “ruts”, some mention that exercise can help, others suggest a nap.  At the end of the day, I don’t think there's one specific answer, but I do know for me personally, getting back into the creative flow in nature seems to kickstart it pretty well, especially while exploring new places.

It's not a novel concept that nature enables inspiration and creativity. This study found that compared to urban areas, being surrounded by a natural environment stimulates more creative and imaginative thinking. Plus, designers and engineers have been using nature as a source for their work for years. Familiar with the term biomimicry? It’s when engineers study nature's design, and emulate them with technology. One of my favorite examples of biomimicry is the edges of a wind turbine inspired by the bumps and edges of humpback whale fins. Apparently Moby Dick didn't file for a patent!

Inspired by these ideas, and in a self described “mild” creative rut - I went on a trip down to the Oregon Coast on a mission to find some new perspectives. I had a hunch that the rugged wild coastal landscapes would ignite what I needed after what felt like a long break from being behind the camera. Although I was in awe of the huge iconic Oregon landscapes, it ended up being the unexpected small natural patterns and textures that captivated me the most.

I hope the images I captured during my journey help inspire your next design or, at the very least, encourage you to take a closer look next time you're at the beach:

Features of the Forest Floor

If you’ve ever visited The Pacific Northwest in the spring, you’ll know what I mean when I say the whole forest is alive. A short walk through the woods and trust me - you’ll find something cool.

Coastal Tones

From muted teals to barely beiges, this coastal colour palette will be the tones for my next project.

Natural Sand Patterns

A walk along the beach at low tide brought me to some of the most unique patterns in the sand I've ever seen. Every section of sand had a slightly different pattern. This phenomenon is actually created from the wind blowing the sand into unique formations, ultimately creating these unique designs and textures.

All in all, I hope everyone has a chance to visit the Oregon Coast one day. It’s raw, rugged, and although incredibly scenic - it isn’t asking for attention. A design lesson we can all learn from.