With Project Runway’s thirteenth season premiering last week, the past season’s winner comes to mind. At 25 years old, Philadelphia native Dom Streater is a vibrant and undeniably inspired designer. Already known for her use of color and original patterns, Dom’s innovative designs have been well received by fashion critics from all over the world. Before her win propelled her creations to famous runways, she was a Fashion Design student at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design. And where was she able to find inspiration for her first garments? Right in her hometown.


The key to being a true visionary is absorbing what’s around you based on the possibility of what it could be. By heeding Dom Streater’s words and example, you will find it impossible to not be inspired by your environment, too.

• Search for inspiration in the small details.

In the largest cities and the smallest towns, there is always something to be discovered. Challenge yourself to work with what you find in the overlooked corners of your world. To create something out of what most people see as nothing is the foundation of any great idea. There may not be a mall where you live, but is there an old building with interesting architecture and a background story?

• Dig into what your city is known for and explore it.

History provides us with notes on what’s interesting about every location. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, designer or musician, recording the scene surrounding you allows you to see the life in it with new eyes. Any type of artist (or anyone committed to never entertain boredom) can find this information and run with it. Tell the story of your city by offering the world your unique perspective.

• Form a community of creative thinkers.

Chances are there is more than one person wondering what your city has to offer and wanting to show the rest of the world what they can do with it. Social media and good old fashioned networking can bring together a group dedicated to finding inspiration for their craft from right where they are.

For more resources, check out the Side Walk Journal and Skillshare’s cityscape photography course.

 Photo by Michael S. Wirtz for Philly.com.