Ideas for stories and characters often come from unexpected and unusual places. We fiction writers have a habit of jotting down overheard conversations, collecting interesting articles, and maintaining family history in the hope of somehow using these unique details in our writing. But there's another type of object that can be used for inspiration for a story or character. The found object.
For example, take this dashing young man in the above photo, found in a book from a library book sale. He could be a character in my next story. He's fashionably dressed, and has topped off his outfit with a bandanna tied around his head. He seems like a brother or a boyfriend, a co-worker or stranger on the street. It's up to you to shade in his backstory and make him fit into your fictive dream. Some writers use photographs of people to help them describe a character's physical appearance.
Other sources of found inspiration can come from notes, cards, and letters. They don't have to be full of detail for you to get an idea or feeling for a character, or to picture a situation that could start a story or give an idea for a scene you've been having trouble getting right.