Need some creative inspiration? Ask Alexa!

Adobe Inspiration Engine
(Image credit: Adobe)

No one ever said that working in a creative profession was easy. For every commission that you absolutely smash out of the park, you're guaranteed to have at least one where you spend ages staring at a blank sheet of paper – or its digital equivalent – with the ideas obstinately refusing to flow.

Whether you're a freelancer or an art director it's all too easy to get slapped by creative block, and it's good to have some inspiration to hand in order to kick start your creative processes when nothing's happening. And now thanks to Adobe you can get a little creative boost by simply shouting at Alexa.

The Adobe Inspiration Engine is a free Alexa Skill that's designed to help anyone out of a creative rut. If you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Fire TV Stick or the Amazon Alexa app, you can simply say, "Hey Alexa, open the Adobe Inspiration Engine," to get a quick shot of creative juice.

Adobe Inspiration Engine

Get some instant visual inspiration from Behance (Image credit: Adobe)

There are four main parts to the Inspiration Engine; the first, Quick Insight, aims to fire you up with an insightful quote from a leading creative mind, with the likes of Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh and Pascal Campion on hand to dole out bite-sized chunks of wisdom.

If you need something a bit more practical there are also exercises in which influencers such as Elise Swopes will take you through activities designed to help get the creative gears turning. And if you need a bit of insight into what kind of creative you actually are, whether it's a Thinker, a Visionary, a Dreamer or something else entirely, you can take the My Creative Type quiz to find out how your mind works.

And if your Alexa device has a screen you can simply get some Visual Inspiration, which serves up a gallery of inspiring imagery from Behance.

The Adobe Inspiration Engine was prototyped using Adobe XD (you can check out the prototype here), and it's available now in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for free. To install it from the Alexa Skill Store, just say, "Hey Alexa, enable the Adobe Inspiration Engine." Alternatively you can find it here.

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Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.