As a full-service creative agency we wear many different hats.  We design, write, consult—and that’s just before our morning Starbucks! Keeping our creative minds challenged and inspired requires a motivated focus. Fortunately, we are able to draw inspiration from just about anywhere! Take a look into our creative process with some of our favorite methods of motivation:
1.  Get online. With so much content online, we never know when we’ll find something that triggers our creative minds. We love to pin and post!
2.  Collaborate. We make team brainstorming, discussions and creative kickoff meetings a large part of our process. Our staff offers unique perspectives, and since we hold team meetings in relaxed environments, the creative juices can just flow!
3.  Word association. Even if the project elicits a visual element, sometimes beginning with words and working up to their visual counterparts makes for a better end result. Organizing ideas into lists helps us to think more clearly and determine what direction we take.
4.  Back to the books. Thinking about synonyms of a word can really help get an idea going. While one word may not quite have the effect we’re looking for, another word that holds a similar significance may just be the portal to all of those wonderfully bright ideas to come.
5.  Clip and save. We like to save everyday items we come across such as mail pieces, restaurant menus, coasters, magazine ads, labels, and business cards. Whether it’s the organization, type treatment or look of the material that appeals to us, the possibilities of what this little piece could play in a future design seem almost endless. Some call it hoarding; we call it inspiration collecting!
6.  Party hearty. Whether we’re attending a business event, awards ceremony, or personal celebration, we love being inspired by different atmospheres, themes and sceneries.
7.  Explore the outdoors. We often develop color palettes, textures and patterns from what we see in our everyday surroundings. Natural elements, as well as manmade, inspire us to another degree. The line pattern of a leaf or the texture of a tree trunk can play into many different designs.
8.  Photography. A good photo can inspire a concept, a new perspective, a focal point, a color palette, a theme or mood, and much more. Browsing through beautiful imagery like National Geographic can really help.
9.  Channel surf. Sometimes we just need to sit back and observe. Television is a virtual idea wonderland – bringing together a large variety of people, places and scenarios from diverse backgrounds and places.
10.  Go back in time. Looking back at what we’ve created in the past, as well as what creative treasures history holds, brings about new challenges. We always look for ways to carry design to the next level. Sometimes a look back is the best place to start looking forward.
We focus on nurturing inspiration and building creativity as part of our daily activities—whether visually or verbally—and we hope these tips help to inspire you!

Shawn Nesaw

Heart-shaped figures, winged Cupids and chocolates galore only signify one important day a year – Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a creative way to make this day stand out for your loved one, don’t fret, we have some ideas for you!
1. Make them hunt it out
Create a scavenger hunt to find a gift with clues based on highlights of your relationship. Include important milestones and special memories, ultimately leading to a special gift that represents your relationship together.
2. First date memoir
Remember where it all started with a black and white picture of where you first met, print it and frame it to match your personalities. Be sure to display the print where you can walk past it each day and smile.
3. Candy without the calories
For your loved one, create a heart shaped box out of paper that looked like a candy box, and instead of candy, take strips of 1/2″ x 5″ paper and put answers to the phrase “I love you because…” on each one. Then roll them up and arranged them in the box to look like pieces of candy.
4. A man’s equivalent to flowers
Ladies, do something special for the man in your life this year for Valentine’s Day. Order his favorite pizza online and have it delivered to him at work at lunchtime.
5. Growing jewelry
This year start a tradition with a piece of jewelry you can build on each year – a string of pearls or a charm bracelet. It will turn into a great memory and family tradition you can pass along for generations.
6. Favorite carry out paired with a classic movie
Relax this year and take it back to the basics with your favorite carry out, curled up on the couch with a warm fire and a classic movie you both enjoy. Sometimes the simple things make the best date.
7. A twist on chocolate
Put a spin on the traditional Valentine’s Day chocolate hearts with hot chocolate on a stick. Pour a warm glass of milk and dip your chocolate to make a unique cup of hot chocolate. Sip and enjoy together.
8. Last minute getaway
Be spontaneous and take a few nights for just the two of you. Stay close to home or go across the country, make it something new and exciting that you can experience and remember together.
9. Calling all kids
Work with the kids to make a special surprise for your special someone. Anything from handmade jewelry for mom or heart-shaped treats for dad make the perfect gift to pull the family together on this loving day.
10. Take advantage of the weather
With the recent winter storm trends, get outside with your loved one and hit the slopes or go snow tubing at a ski or golf resort – complete with a lift. It’s a fun way to get outdoors and save on money, too!