This is an extraordinary time to be a creative person. To survive as an artist in the Middle Ages or during the Renaissance, you needed to have a sponsor, a patron – perhaps a pope, a Medici, or a Holy Roman Emperor. Today, photographers hawk their compositions on any number of stock photography websites; writers can create their own blogs for a fistful of dollars, augmenting their income with freelance posts; and digital designers can create clever website designs as independent contractors. A creative type can effectively create his or her own marketplace.
Yet the strain to satisfy the insatiable beasts that are content marketing and competitive creativity can sometimes be overwhelming. The Information Age is just that: an age that is exploding with information. At times the glut of information bombarding one’s senses either drives the creative person into an entirely catatonic state or catapults him or her into a state of utter pandemonium – numb or crazed – take your pick. Either way, creative output is essentially paralyzed.
All of us sometimes become trapped in creative morass, so we thought we would share some of our favorite ways to break free and get into the creative zone.
We’d love to hear what yours are too.
Chris Mohler – Creative Director
- Taking a long drive
- Blasting music
- Taking a walk on the beach
Andra Gheorghe – Designer
- Anticipating an upcoming vacation frees my creative spirit + a Nespresso coffee with milk and sugar
Paul Gergely – Product Designer
- I’m inspired when I’m around people who are great at their craft (doesn’t have to be designers or people in tech – just people who are great at what they do)
- Early mornings at the office or my local coffee place – just getting some place where there are few distractions – where I can “get lost in my head”
Dolfin Leung-Melville – Marketing Director
- Browsing through photos/designs/layouts/from print or online materials for inspiration
- Searching with keywords online
- Riffling through a stack of magazines to see what jumps out at me
- Clearing my head with long walks with my dogs
Madalin Slaniceanu – Designer
- Listening to music and chilling out
V:shal Kanwar – Creative Director
- Ambient sound drives my creative energy – the right music can help emote the right visuals for a particular project, and the wrong background humming (static sounds, buzzing, people having annoying conversations) can really throw off my chances for finding that moment of design epiphany.
Julie Farrell – Head of Marketing
- Nature first and foremost – long walks in the sticks or long bike rides through wine country where I live
- Reading, learning, traveling – sounds corny, but learning or experiencing something that’s tangential to what I’m doing at work often shines a new perspective on a creative topic/problem
Me – Lisa Peacock – Managing and Executive Creative Director
Doing anything away from my computer: showering, gardening, motorcycle riding, cleaning house, working out, decorating the house
Riffing about a specific creative goal itself with other smart people
Sitting quietly alone with something that has moved past a blank canvas