As a creative team, we’re constantly looking for inspiration to fuel our next project. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a Pinterest search and we’re always scrolling through Instagram to see what other creatives are up to. But for inspiration that really gets our wheels turning, we like to think outside the (digital) box.
Family and Friends
Believe it or not, we do spend time with people who aren’t on the Parkway payroll. They also happen to be some of our favorite sources of inspiration.
For Rob, the picture of his mom waiting outside a lecture hall to beg for notes from a male classmate (the professor wouldn’t allow female candidates in the room) while pursuing her Ph.D. is all the inspiration he needs to face his next challenge. After all, he says, “If she had the strength to face systemic discrimination to reach her goals, nothing I face is truly a challenge.”
Jenna spends a lot of her free time with her rugby teammates, who inspire her to be the best version of herself. Even on days when practice feels like a burden, she leaves feeling refreshed and motivated. Her teammates provide a constant reminder to work harder, be supportive and accepting, put in the extra effort, believe in yourself, persevere and try new things.
For the times we just need a change of scenery, it’s up to our dogs to get us away from the computer and into the woods.
The MIT Technology Review is one of Rob’s surefire sources of inspiration. It’s always full of unique perspectives on technology’s brightest horizons.
For Taylor, each and every one of the “reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words” that make up The New York Times Tiny Love Stories are an inspiration. These itty bitty tales of bliss and heartbreak and friendship make her think about just how many different ways humans love.
We also love our own words, in the form of neat lists dumped from our brains into the pages of our planners. Moving the must-dos floating in our heads onto paper leaves more room for big ideas and creative breakthroughs.
Sometimes, Dana says, taking inspiration from a fellow graphic designer “hinders my own creative process.” Instead, she turns to music and interior design.
Dana is inspired by the passion Phish lead vocalist and guitarist Trey Anastasio has for his art. In addition to Phish, he performs solo and is a part of several side projects. Every time he performs, he gives it his all and has fun doing it. Anastasio isn’t afraid to put himself out there, take a risk and experiment with his art.
As graphic designers, it’s interesting to see how color and pattern are translated into a different form of visual art like interior design. Dana says, “Sometimes looking at a space and seeing how everything comes together can spark an idea for a logo or layout design.”
For those of us who aren’t blessed with design aptitude, there’s one of Taylor’s favorite sources of inspiration, DIYer Angela Rose. Her home is beautiful, but all the projects she tackles are totally doable. Her Instagram Stories make them seem that way, at any rate.
If you thought we could make it through a blog post without talking about Buffalo, you don’t know us very well. We’re all inspired by the Nickel City, but after three years away and an incredible Leadership Buffalo experience, Jenna is especially in love with all of Buffalo’s nooks and crannies.
She says, “When people come together to create positive change for the collective good, so many amazing things can happen. In Buffalo, I see charity, public art, events, celebrations and so much more. The City of Good Neighbors is a real and wonderful phenomenon!”