Keeping Inspiration Close
When you look around someone’s office – how they organize their desk, how they decorate their walls, what knick- knacks they have on their shelves – you can get sense of who they are. But why are these things really there? Sure, they provide a sense of comfort, familiarity and personalization. But when it boils down to it, isn’t it really about inspiration?
Every time I enter my office, I am inspired by a yarn-wrapped antler I have on the shelf. This seemingly random object always reminds me of how inquisitive I felt when I found the antler in a vintage shop, how blissful I felt when I sat down to wrap the antler in yarn, and how proud I felt when I finished. Each time I see this antler, I am reminded that inspiration and creativity are often about diving in – just giving it a shot even if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing! – and seeing the project through to the end. Even if it’s not perfect, you’ve accomplished something great.
Here’s what inspires some other INKers:
Nikol Schiller: I keep a sticky note on my computer screen from 99U that says, “you don’t have to feel like it in order to do something.” This helps me when I’m feeling unfocused or uninspired to get creative projects done. It reminds me to keep moving forward. Inspiration tends to pop its head out eventually.
Starr Million Baker: I have a small frame of our 2014 goals on my desk. I look at it all the time to take stock of where we are and what we need to be working on.
Candice Eng: Rather than looking at something in my office, when I need inspiration I go talk to other INKers. I’ll talk to someone who knows a lot about the topic I’m stuck on or someone who can help me brainstorm creative ideas.
Caroline Pullen: My bulletin board. I’ve got a lot of cards and quotes on there, for example: “You’re a jar of awesome sauce.” By reading them in the morning and throughout the day, it inspires me to do my best work and also gets the creative juices flowing. I’ve received a lot of the cards through friends and family throughout the years and I’ve just held onto them. Plus, colorful stuff always inspires me. I couldn’t imagine working in an office without color!
Allyson Chapa: A photo of my grandmother. She’s a fighter. She never went to school and she never learned how to read or write. Even through multiple tutors at an old age, she has an incredibly tough time learning. Despite that, she’s pushed through every obstacle in her way. She was a janitor at my middle school and always had a smile on her face. Today, she’s diagnosed with stage four cancer, and her dream was to see me graduate college. For that, I am incredibly grateful that she instilled hard work and determination into not just me, but my parents and my siblings.
Ryan Riggins: I have two hand lettering posters from Daniel Simmons on the wall about my desk. One says “Make Great Art.” The other is a quote from Pablo Picasso, which reads, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” I find this quote to be a great reminder of the fact that design is hard work. It takes discipline, practice and development just like anything else. That fact encourages me to push through a creative block or when I’m feeling particularly uninspired by a project.
Kari Hernandez: I have a mural on my wall from Allison Crow that illustrates who INK was a few years back. It shows our company goals, persona and highlights. A lot of the pieces are not relevant anymore but overall it just reminds me that this is a journey.
Caitlin New: Once when I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit like an underdog when competing for a new opportunity, I took a piece of paper and was going to draw a sunflower. Sunflowers were my grandmother’s favorite flower and they make me happy when I see them. When I drew it, inspiration hit me and I drew the flower leaning chest into the wind, with its leaves pumping like arms and roots like legs marching straight ahead. I pinned it to the wall by my desk and when I see this, it makes me feel inspired and determined to move full steam ahead.
What quote, piece of art or memorabilia inspires you in your workspace? Every knick-knack has a story. What’s yours?