I constantly study myself. I make mental notes on what makes me a better thinker. I'm like a picky house plant, only the precise amount of water and light will allow me to survive and thrive. My sketchpad makes me a better thinker. Music does sometimes. Silence does sometimes. Travel always makes me a better thinker, because in my mind, it's the best form of education. I render pictures in my head while reading, so books definitely make me a better thinker. Movies; yes. So does my, 'wall of inspiration' (that's a descriptor, not a proper noun). Of the fifteen, or so, places I've called 'home', ever since I can remember, I have had at least one wall transformed into a large collage. This collage is where I place visuals I find visually ALIVE. Mostly it's compiled of magazine clippings. I love flipping through magazines on any subject, and trimming out good design, architecture, photos, typography, quotes, drawings, color swatches. I throw caution to the wind,and mar that drywall with stainless steel thumbtacks; hundreds, and hundreds, of them. My shrine-of-aesthetically-pleasing-things grows and spreads like Boston ivy, until it takes over the room. That wall of precious clutter gives my eyes a place to settle, when I need a creative tip.
Recently, I realized I hadn't added to my wall lately. I had let my magazine subscriptions run out. That will change. I hope paper magazines stick around for a long time.