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Guest blog: When in doubt, get out

Inspiration is a fleeting thing, some people have it in on tap and others struggle. Either way we all need to experience varied environments to feel inspired. Sitting staring at a screen in your workplace probably isn’t the best place to do this. Yes you could walk around Brooklyn on Google street view, or take a walk through the park in Second Life but better to GET OUT OF THE STUDIO into the real world and stretch your legs.

Now, where to go for this inspiration, Nottingham is no Rome, there’s no Spanish Steps to sit and muse (there are the Council House steps but you may get moved along if you dwell too long) and it’s no Venice (although it does have lots of canals) it does however have the odd oasis of inspiration dotted about the city. So, here’s a few places in the city centre we migrate to when we need to clear our tiny minds, look at stuff and just think.

In no particular order –

Robs Records

Hurts Yard, Nottingham, NG16JD

Rob and his records

Containing a truly mesmerizing amount of records, tapes, CD’s and DVD’s Rob’s records is a cluttered, slightly claustrophobic yet incredibly interesting place to go and nose around. Whether it’s the music that inspires you or the album covers (or simply just spending time perusing box after box of records) there will be something that floats your boat here. If you’re searching for something in particular Rob seems to have some sort of homing beacon and will be able to locate it for you so just ask. Feel like popping up right now actually!

Le Chien Et Moi

Le Chien Et Moi, 60 Derby Road Nottingham NG1 5FD. Tel – 0115 9799199

The dog and me

The dog and me

Ok, we could be accused of self promotion here as we created their website BUT the fact remains that Le Chien Et Moi is full to the brim of fascinating and beautiful stuff, from one-off items such as old cinema seats and printing presses to beautiful books and perfumes from around the world. Oh and a rather lovely Beagle named Mulberry which will also compete for your attention. You will find something you never knew you always wanted in Le Chien Et Moi, go have a snoop.

Montana Shop Nottingham

6 Goose Gate Hockley Nottingham NG1 1FF

Some paint...

Some paint...

Barcelona born Montana is the worlds leading aerosol paint supplier and Nottingham is lucky enough to have the only official store in Britain. The shop features not only the paint but also a wealth of other art and design supplies that would be difficult to stumble across elsewhere. It also has stacks of rare graffiti, illustration and typography books and DVD’s for that spark of inspiration you won’t find in your local Waterstones. That, along with original pieces of artwork from local and international artists and some great designer clothes makes Montana Shop Nottingham a great place to go and get inspired (and kitted out to create).

Nottingham Castle

1 Castle Road, City Centre, Nottingham

Nottingham "Castle"

Nottingham "Castle"

Well that should possibly be “Nottingham House” as it can seem disappointing if you’re expecting to see spires, steeples and a moat (the original medieval castle was destroyed by arsonists in 1831). A personal favorite of ours for sitting and throwing around ideas, the castle grounds are a great place to go and relax, the gardens are genuinely lovely and the industrial view which has changed somewhat since seen in the1960 film adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning (of the novel of the same name by Alan Sillitoe) is still an inspiring sight. The Castle also houses an acclaimed art gallery which showcases local and international talent and is currently showing a great exhibition “Portrait of a city; Nottingham names and faces from the 1500s to 2010”? which runs from 26 June to 19 September, go and have a cup of tea, buy a bow and arrow and enjoy the art.

Like most things in design, this list is subjective so these places may not seem inspirational to some but that’s the idea. There are lots more we could add, like Nottingham Contemporary, the Lace Market and The New Art Exchange but we’d like to invite you to share with us where you go to get that spark or just relax and catch some inspiration in and around Robin Hood City. Right we’re off for a walk around Broadmarsh!

This is our last post as guest bloggers so please do remember to visit our website to see our latest graphic design works. Alternatively follow us on facebook.