On Creativity: From a Bunch of Creatives

September 18, 2018

The Sol team is a creative bunch–making is part of who we are. That being said, it’s not always easy to keep the creative energy going… all the time. So we asked around the office: how does being a creative for a living work for you?


Jake SolDesign Atlanta Georgia LinkedIn

JAKE: Being creative on demand is awesome because we are required to think often, and thinking is fun. But deadlines can also dampen true creative exploration. Often, though, working within restrictions can allow for creativity in terms of approach. If you’re given limitless freedom, it’s really hard to know what to do.

For example, if you have a print piece with a huge budget, sure you can use a lot of really nice paper and vibrant imagery, but if you have a tiny budget then you know that you can only work in black and white; that whatever graphics you use have to be really striking and high contrast so they’ll look good on a less capable printer; you have to be really thoughtful with your layout to use as little paper as possible. Basically, you have to try harder to get it to look good. But I think that’s part of the fun.


MARY: I think there’s creativity in every job, regardless of the industry – that’s when innovation happens. For me, the key question is how to stay creative when you’re working. No matter the job, it’s important to feel inspired and also give yourself time to explore. With super packed schedules and deadlines, giving yourself time can be a challenge. But the results are worth it. Making something beautiful or functional or new – that is so worth it.


KATHIE: To jump off what Mary said, there’s a podcast that I listen to called 99% Invisible that looks at unsung elements of architecture and design that are present in our everyday lives. Topics are as broad as the diminishing oyster population, brick theft, and even the clicks on a keyboard. By the end, you’re left with the affirmation that creativity is everywhere and not just in the normal places that you expect to find it.


SCOTT: After so many years of being a creative, my brain is accustomed to approaching design for a client in a businesslike manner. For me, it’s about dissecting what a client wants and how to deliver the solution in the most efficient way.

In my everyday life, I look at everything with a particular eye (some people may call it being judgemental…!). Whether it’s the interior of a home or office, a film, the livery of an airline or the typography in a magazine, I notice design details that many people don’t realize exist. I remember I was looking over logos for a friend’s business and there was this massive gap in the letter spacing that she couldn’t see. Three days later, she texted,  “I SEE THE GAP. I WAS JUST ABLE TO NOTICE IT!!”


MARIUS: I find myself falling into the category “creative” the most when I explore artistry and skills that exist outside my wheelhouse of familiarity. When I try my hand at writing a short story or dabble in drawing or painting I feel fearless, more determined to experiment, and challenged to find the best result for what I’m envisioning in the moment. I make my living by harnessing all of those lessons and employing them to influence the work I execute.


MEHGAAN: Creativity is woven throughout every aspect of my life. Whether it’s the way I approach motherhood, the way I style my hair or the way I approach an idea at work, being creative drives me to be the best me.


Shannon Yarbrough SolDesign Atlanta Georgia LinkedIn

SHANNON: Shifting from the content team to business development helped me foster creativity outside the office. When I wrote for Sol, I had a hard time going home and feeling inspired to write. But now that my creativity is channeled differently at work, I can go home and – if my toddler lets me! – spend time writing for fun.

I’ve heard that the more channels you can tap into to express creativity, the more inspired you’ll feel. For example, if you’re a writer, paint. If you’re a designer, write. Even if you’re awful at something, just the act of doing it is a way to foster creative energy.


Are you a “creative” for a living? How do you stay inspired?




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