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Key Takeaways:

  • If inspiration doesn’t strike, create your own.
  • Most creatives thrive on variety.
  • Look for inspiration outside your work life.
  • Disconnecting can help improve your creativity


I often joke with my teammates that if I waited for inspiration to strike, I would’ve gone hungry a long time ago. But since I like to eat—and I don’t have the luxury of waiting for the muse—sometimes I’ve got to hunt down my own inspiration. Here are some quick tips that I’ve found helpful when it comes to fueling creativity and avoiding “mailing it in.”

Mix it up.

Variety is key to a healthy balanced creative diet. At Gunderson Direct, we’re lucky because we have 10+ active clients across a wide range of verticals. For example, you could start your day with life insurance, move on to business services, and then jam on a beverage delivery service account in the afternoon.

Keep up with the Joneses.

Read what’s happening in the industry pubs. Stay on top of the trends. Cruise work that’s winning awards. All of these things are fuel that could spark a new idea or improve one you’re working on.

Look outside of advertising.

Yes, I know this contradicts the previous tip, but non-industry ideas can give you new perspectives to bring into your everyday marketing reality. So go to an art gallery or a museum. Listen to all genres of music. Discover a new local artist. It’s all food for your creative soul.

Try something new.

If time allows, pick up a personal creative project—I guarantee it’ll do you a world of good. I work as a writer, but I’ve been clumsily testing my hand at watercolor lately and really enjoy it. Every painting is all about learning, growth, and getting Better Every Day.

File it away.

You have a great idea and maybe the client or the team didn’t feel it was the right fit. No worries. Just keep a handy slush pile and file it away for another project later on down the road, or use it to spark a new idea.

Get out there.

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors boosts health and well-being. If you’re feeling good and healthy, it’s going to reflect in the creative you develop. It’s that simple.

Create some downtime.

In our 24/7 always-on culture, this one can be difficult to swing. But there is serious uptime to downtime with studies showing how productivity (and your creativity) skyrockets when we rest, replenish, and rejuvenate.

When it comes to finding inspiration, unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The important thing is to find the right combination of fuel, so you can always feed yourself creatively. It’s all a part of the process of creating great work.

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Erik’s built a career spanning agencies large and small, gaining deep experience crafting campaigns in every channel across a wide range of brands. A passionate mentor for rising creatives, he’s lead teams and written for the likes of Google, AT&T, Dell, FedEx, 24 Hour Fitness, and Sparkling Ice, to name a few — and won a few awards along the way.

As ACD, Erik is committed to delivering business results for his clients. He’s currently responsible for helping lead, concept, write, and provide oversight for the agency creative.

Outside of work, you’ll find Erik on long rambling bike rides, exploring local hot springs, and spending time with his family.