Finding Inspiration and Staying Creative

Ever since I finished graphic design school, I’ve been looking for ways to stay creative, motivated and productive. I love having design projects on the side, along with constant doodling, drawing and illustrations in my sketchbooks.

summer park in my backyard


One thing I really like to do for inspiration is read articles and stories about other creatives.

This article about former Starbucks illustrator Pamela Farmington is one of my favorite stories.

I love reading about Willoughby Design, the design firm who did last year’s holiday campaign for Panera Bread Co. I’m also admiring their Summer and Autumn branding campaigns. Check out the gorgeous projects they’ve designed for Hallmark Cards.

I love the work of the graphic design firm Colle & McVoy from Minneapolis, whose clients include Explore Minnesota, Mountain Hardwear, Old Navy and RedWing Shoes. They did a phenomenal job rebranding Caribou Coffee recently.

This is a fun article about typographical artist Molly Jacques who emphasizes on calligraphy and hand lettering, and teaches calligraphy on  Skillshare. She started a new video series called The Freelance Diaries. In her first video she talks about getting inspired..

This is a great article about Anna Bond who is well-known for creating beautiful illustrations and hand lettering for collections of paper goods produced by her company Rifle Paper Co.

Here’s another great article I was inspired by about Khristian A. Howell, well-known surface pattern designer.


Another thing I like to do to stay motivated is come up with a story or a theme, almost like creating an assignment for myself.

Lately my themes have included birds, coffee, desserts, chocolate, and coffee farming.

To move forward with a story or theme, I make a word list that serves as a to-do list which gives me better direction than just having ideas floating around.

Continuous Learning

I find it very helpful to stay current and productive by learning new creative techniques.

Skillshare has been my go-to place for online learning, but I also love to page through my small library of drawing and lettering books and creative magazines for new things to try.

Window Shopping

I like looking at packaging and signs for inspiration, so my go-to places lately are Sephora and coffee shops such as Starbucks and Caribou Coffee.


I like to look through my library of photos for scenes and things to illustrate.

June backyard2

Go Outside

To stay energized, it’s a must for me to spend time outdoors, whether hiking, treasure hunting in our yard or just taking pictures. It’s slowly starting to warm up around here with more signs of Spring popping up so I’m anxious to get outside, smell the fresh air, look for green buds and sprouts, and listen to the birds.

Thanks for stopping by!



  • I constantly look at different places for quilt inspiration. I will definitely check out some of these links. They look super interesting.

    • Thanks Cindy. There are so many place to find inspiration, especially on the Internet. I like to have a variety of sources. Most often, learning about other people inspires me; not just what they’re creating.

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