How Do Creative Pros Keep the Creative Juices Flowing

How Do Creative Pros Keep the Creative Juices Flowing

“My best ideas usually come after a night of shallow sleep—subconsciously wrestling with a problem—followed by a hot shower. I’ve always made up lyrics in the shower, often to entertain my eye-rolling wife, so it’s where I’m most relaxed and creative. Lately, the Shots e-newsletter ( and New York Times Sunday paper have had the most consistent content for my marketing inspiration.” —Chris Preston, partner and chief creative officer, Preston Kelly



“I chase food trucks. I will seek and then devour each delight. I get inspired by great food, the people in the food trucks, the brands they’re creating. Learning about their passions and how they prepare and present incredible food in such a small and challenging space really gets me hungry and thirsty for more.” —Seamus Culligan, director of creative, Avenue C



“Inspiration comes in many forms for me these days. What I’ve learned is to pay attention to those things we typically take for granted and are just part of our lives. One of my inspiration triggers: I love getting lost while traveling and stumbling into new and unexpected experiences just off the beaten path.

Recently, I visited the most amazing dim sum place called Nom Wah Tea Parlor housed in a 1920s building, tucked away within the maze of New York City’s Chinatown. To get there, you first turn into a nondescript alley that opens up onto a curved street with graffiti on the walls and sidewalks, which sets the scene for the smells and tastes of the most perfect steamed bao and dumplings. The inspiration of this afternoon is brought forth for me when I’m in meetings with clients or with our team, harnessing its influence over me as I’m pulling scraps for a mood board or drawing an environment for one of our many projects.” —Reginaldo Reyes, vice president of brand experience and environmental design, KNOCK Inc.



“In an industry where it’s easy to become jaded and burnt out, I find inspiration by embracing collaboration and a sense of curiosity every day. I’m always researching and finding ways to push concepts beyond the status quo. But when you pair this with deadlines, the pressure to be consistently producing original concepts can be overwhelming. To counteract this, our company dedicates time to meet weekly for ‘coffee and creativity’ sessions where our entire team learns from each other, asks questions, challenges ideas, and brainstorms. It’s an open forum where any topic is game for discussion. We found that by fostering a safe environment for collaboration, we can expand off of each other’s ideas and find new paths of inspiration.” —Jodie Pundsack, co-owner and creative director, Gaslight Creative



“I’m always inspired by cities. When travel isn’t possible, even taking a new route to work can be eye-opening. Or working from a coffee shop I’ve never been to; seeing different places, meeting different people, smelling different smells. It brings a whole new set of inputs for whatever I’m working on.” —Marty Senn, chief creative officer, Carmichael Lynch