Side Trip Inspiration
Inspiration. Where does it come from? How do we get it? Creatives are always in search of the next great idea. Often we turn to CA, TheFWA, Smashingmag, the geniuses at Adaptive Path or the insights of Jared Spool and his cohorts. But sometimes it helps to close the laptop, power down the iPad and hit the street. Some of my best creative jumpstarts have come in the most unexpected places. Here is a list of local road trips that have gotten me out of the Aeron chair, on my bike, on my feet or in the car finding inspiration in a less digital format.
The road that links Colorado City to Manitou Springs outside Colorado Springs is dotted with campy, retro motels showcasing the best neon signage I have ever seen. The experience is great by day, but really “lights up” at night. The motel owners have done a great job of keeping these signs maintained and true to the 50s-era styling.
Arapaho Acres, just a few streets south of Yale and sandwiched between Marion and Franklin, is a series of curvilinear streets showcasing 124 post-world war, mid-century-modern ranches. All the residents agree to preserve the modern facades. It is a great architectural walking tour. Keep your eye out for the classic signage at street ends.
Federal Boulevard between Alameda and Mississippi is ripe with colorful handmade signage selling anything from Hatch chile to Dim Sum. By the way, as you get hungry from all the signs, I hear the soup dumplings are fantastic at Lao Wang Noodle House.
One Dude’s Junk…
The Brass Armadillo at Kipling and the I-70 frontage road hosts the most massive garage sale. Miles (pictured below) took us on a “design outing” a few months back and came back with “Blue Boy”. One trip was not enough, and he went back that weekend to find its mate. We coupled this outing with a trip to Furr’s Cafeteria. It just felt right…well sort of.
Atlas Metal has, well, loads of scrap metal. Any fan of Readymade will go nuts in this scrappy junkyard. There are great objects for photo shoots, DIY projects and plain-old eye candy. You can even tour the wire chopper facility—certainly a not-to-miss.