Inspiration. The Spitfire

Where do designers and artist get their inspiration? What is going on upstairs inspiring them to come up with their ideas and creations? For me it’s a combination of important moments and objects which fuel my imagination.

Spiritfire, as I was typing this post that’s what I put by mistake. Ok so I have clumsy typing fingers, but thinking about it it’s not such a bad replacement name.

Why do so many Brits love and proudly worship the Spitfire? I believe one reason is that it reminds us of a period in our history where we showed such great spirit. The spitfire has become a national symbol, like the Queen, the Mini (the original one, not the new handbag carrier) and now Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France and gold medal Olympian. Even Bradley pays homage by having the RAF roundels on his bike and helmet.

What has also made the Spitfire such a success is it’s extremely beautiful form, those curves are almost sensual. In fact it’s so elegant that we forget that it’s a fighter, it’s more like an act of nature, a work of art. Later versions had the wing tips squared off so they could maneuver faster but I prefer the bird like earlier examples. Flown by a pilot who wore a tie, the Spitfire sums up a great moment, where in difficult times and during heroic sacrifice, standards were still kept high.

Don’t worry I am not going to break into a loud tearful rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’, I am just going to imagine the boys coming home over Dover in tight formation. Respect to their sacrifice and to R. J. Mitchell for his design icon!

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