Interior Design, Cross Training and Cooking
10 ICON Employees On How They Stay Creative
  1. “I don’t get to watch as many movies as I would like, but I think there are amazing examples of motion graphics within the opening title sequence of a movie. I also find a lot of inspiration from the branding and interior design within stores and restaurants. There are so many small independent stores opening up that put a lot of time and effort into their branding.”– Steve Salhaney, Senior Creative Director

  2. “I try and flex my creative muscles across as many different mediums as I can. It’s always stressed in athletics the importance of cross training, and I think this holds true for creative endeavors as well. I write poetry, I practice making graphics, I take photos, I draw, I paint, and I read. It’s so important to express yourself in as many different ways as you can. It keeps your mind fresh and your ideas innovative.” – Molly Burford, Assistant Digital Strategist

  3. “The kitchen is my happy place. Cooking helps me with creativity in all aspects of my life, and I also draw inspiration from life and bring that into the kitchen.”– Randall Spaulding, Digital Project Manager

  4. “I constantly check the site awwwards.com for inspiration, specifically the ‘winners’ category. They always have fantastic sites featured on this site that fuels my inspiration. I also check Muzli almost every day. They update their homepage with a daily inspirational post, with everything from illustrations and digital design to videos and photography and more. And last but not least, I always check Pinterest.”– Blandine Mathieu, Designer

  5. “Although I’m not on the creative side, from a functionality side I often try to ‘change the board’ (chess reference) when I work with client who get frustrated in communicating their real needs. I have often asked the question: “If the tool you are envisioning was online and working today, in its perfect form, tell me what you would use it to do. How would it make your life easier?” Then I craft these desired outcomes into User Stories, which are part of our Agile process, and allow the user to (disconnect from the technology) and move into the right side of their brain and simply think about how they can improve their business process” – Sam Patel, Technical Project Manager

  6. “I have a found that in the most random places and times I will get inspired. Some of my best ideas to solve problems have come while I have been taking a shower or watching some documentary on Netflix. I think the key to finding inspiration for me is to just relax and keep an open mind to everything that surrounds you. So many times as creative professionals, we are put on the spot to come up with an idea right away. When this happens, I try to remember to relax and do the things that feel creative to me, but use a different mindset such as skateboarding or mountain biking. This usually helps to open my mind up to different possibilities, and come back with a fresh perspective to the problem at hand.”– Jon Crays, Art Director
  7. “There are a few ways I keep my creative juices flowing. I’m a huge follower of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. I do yoga and martial arts. Pinterest, of course, always helps. And finally, social work. It helps me connect with others at a different level.” – Teresa Adachi, Project Manager

  8. “If I’m stuck on something, I like to take a quick walk and get some fresh air. That (plus coffee) usually helps!” – Ari Weinkle, Associate Creative Director

  9. “I have always greatly appreciated that our agency has a culture that encourages the free sharing of ideas across all levels. A lot of agencies claim they do this, but in reality, creative is expected to come from the ‘creative’ department. ICON truly collaborates by inviting all team members into initial creative discussions. More importantly, our creative directors and top management will fully support and implement ideas that come from any team member, whether it be a developer, an account person, or an intern. I have never seen that level of commitment to this type of true collaboration at any creative organization I have worked with over my career. ICON really lives by this and fully supports it.” – Ryan Hauer, Operations Manager of Business Development

  10. “Some small things I do to stay creative include sketching things on a sheet of paper, preferably a blank one without any lines or on a whiteboard. This allows me to create flow diagrams. Drawing images also helps. I also enjoy taking a walk. This allows me to solve issues creatively rather than staring at a screen and hammering in the same thing into my head over and over.” – Alex Harrison, iOS Developer