Looking for Inspiration? Here’s Where We Find Ours.


All of us in creative fields know that creativity doesn’t always come easily, and that it doesn’t always come at the “right” time.

Where do you go when you need a little inspiration? What do you do when you’re stuck on a project and just need to clear your head (or maybe retreat to your happy place)?

The web is full of inspiration, but it’s a little chaotic if you ask me. So, out of curiosity to learn what inspires people offline, I asked my amazing co-workers. What I found was really interesting and I know it will help me (and you) in the future.

Visual Designer

As a designer, I’m always looking for inspiration on the web through visual blogs and websites. But the truth is that I’m most inspired by stepping away from the screen and out into the world. Whether it’s a walk on a beautiful trail or a quiet moment in the sun, it’s always a breath of fresh air that re-energizes me.

I also do some of my best thinking when I’m driving peacefully without any distractions. The quiet ride becomes my whiteboard. Also, I would love to share this article about how being forgetful can be good to get the creative juices flowing. Check it out!

And, here’s a picture I took recently.


Interaction Designer

I often draw inspiration from my experiences. I am most inspired after a trip, or a visit to a museum/gallery, or even after working on drawing that is unrelated to user interface design. These experiences influence my unique style and help me avoid being overly influenced by any one person, work or trend.

I recently attended SXSW where inspiration is everywhere. From the crazy cool motion graphics projections at shows to the cool apps everyone was using, like Meerkat (Facetime with the public) and Phhhoto (the those booths drew a lot of attention). It’s great to see how technology and great design create unique memorable experiences.

Director, Product Management

Talking to website owners from around the world is really inspiring to me. It’s amazing to hear from people who are sharing their dreams, starting a company or promoting their cause. Learning about ways that we can help these people achieve their dreams is a constant source of inspiration for me.

Executive Creative Director

The following people have inspired me:

  • Carl Sagan
  • Isaac Newton / Albert Einstein
  • Steve Jobs / Jony Ive

I’m inspired by people who see the world from a curiously different perspective. I am astonished by how they have dedicated their lives to changing the world through their craft and talent.


I founded a group called NoVA UX, made up of over 1,500 designers and developers interested in user experience design in the Northern Virginia and DC metro area. Each month AddThis sponsors a meetup event where 50-100 members join us to learn from each other. I take a lot inspiration from hearing how other designers solve problems, helping them connect with each other and answering questions for new designers getting started with their careers.


Director, Product Marketing

Pushing aside the cheesy factor, I am most often inspired by my children, but more specifically, what makes them laugh. Having been in marketing for over 10 years I am always dissecting commercials and advertisements. I’ve often thought to myself “Who the hell approved this!” or “Wow.. they did an amazing job”. But now that I’m a mother, the world of marketing looks different and I am extremely cognizant of that. Now, when I am working on something I try to keep in mind a few things:

  1. Would my child understand it? Or, in other ways, explain it like a child would (something we, as marketers, often forget). Just because we know our product in and out it does not mean others do.
  2. Will it pull an emotion from the viewer? Or, would it make my daughter go “awww” or giggle? Not always appropriate in tech, but we’re always trying something new.
  3. Is it offensive? Or, as a mother, will I approve? Now, note the difference between offensive and controversial. Controversial is good – offensive is not and will lose you customers.

So there you have it… think like a kid and you won’t go wrong! ;)