Finding Daily Inspiration at Thinkwell
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Thinkwellians benchmark guest experiences all the time. From theme parks to haunted houses, renaissance faires to immersive theatre, we are always on the hunt for awesome experiences that fill up our brains with inspiration and creative fuel for the jobs we do as designers. But with working from home during the current shelter-in-place restrictions, we’re now benchmarking and staying focused from the comfort of our living rooms.
We’ve asked Thinkwellians from around the world to tell us what they do to stay inspired and to stay creative right now. From daily websites to morning routines, here’s a sampling of the websites, blogs, and online tools that Thinkwellians visit or do on a daily basis.
Daily websites to hit up for inspiration:
Thinkwellians in the Los Angeles studio visit a wide variety of sites. Jin Choi, sr. designer, explores ArtStation to get motivated with colors and composition, while Sxyvaan Pichon, production coordinator with Thinkwell Media, checks out ThisIsColossal or CartoonBrew. “This is Colossal is definitely a Thinkwell favorite” remarked Sxyvaan. “There’s also Dezeen, DesignMilk, and The Verge, which I frequent.”
Nick Davidson, sr. lighting designer, has a morning routine that involves catching up on Designboom, Wallpaper, and Architectural Digest Magazine — all resources that kickstart his early mornings to prep for the day ahead. Meanwhile, Graphic Designer Nicole Harada’s morning routine consists of catching up on podcasts: “I have a podcast I listen to called UI Breakfast. It’s more UI/UX focused for the user experience for the online world!” she stated.
Meanwhile, Linette Belmonte, administrative assistant in Thinkwell Abu Dhabi, loves to check out MarkManson.net. “The site has different categories, such as understanding self, emotional intelligence, life purpose, relationships and self discipline. Additionally, if you want to skip the reading and listen in, they provide short-form audio clips to play.”
For the Gamers:
While some of our Thinkwellians feel creatively refueled by catching up on websites or podcasts, others gain creative insights by playing video games. Jeremy Thompson, a creative writer in the Content department, recently reached out to the creator of The Nest and spent time talking to him. Jeremy stated, “We spent time discussing how this game in particular was a heavy inspiration, along with Firewatch and Gone Home.”
Craig Hanna, chief creative officer, and Jeremy Thompson also are big fans of the games Annapurna Pictures are putting out. “There’s both a tone and style to Annapurna’s titles that are unique and have a great vibe. Their storylines are often ‘alternative’ and their game play is different from most popular titles out today.” Craig noted, “Florence is a recent favorite. It’s more of a ‘interactive illustrated novel’ than just a game, and overall has a great atmosphere.”
Dave Cobb, principal, creative development, has been a huge fan of The ALONE Experience, and they now have an online series that continues on from the great work Dave has experienced: “The reason I love all of their work is because they took a very abstract approach to story — it wasn’t the typical haunt tropes of blood-and-gore-filled insane asylums or haunted houses. Instead, it was very weird and cerebral, even calling itself an “existential haunting” — like a haunt experience designed by a bunch of art-school kids after a marathon viewing of David Lynch films, ” Dave exuded. “It has scares, sure – but also has moments of surreality and humor, and it pushes my ‘discomfort buttons’ in really unique and fascinating ways.”
Offline and On-Mind:
If shutting your screen off helps your creativity, our Thinkwellians also have tips for getting out and away from computers and phones. Pauline Petit, an intern in business development and marketing for Thinkwell Studio Montréal, enjoys painting. “I like to paint in my free time. I’m not a great painter, so I search for inspiration on instagram, and I learn to make something from tutorials.”
While some paint, others exercise. Peden Bhutia, business development manager with Thinkwell Abu Dhabi, enjoys a daily morning routine of short yoga workouts, as it helps with focusing on the tasks at hand she needs to accomplish during the rest of the day. Jake Williams, marketing project specialist in Los Angeles, also started getting into yoga during the COVID-19 shut down: “I needed something to help clear my mind. I started using DownDog, a really great app that’s awesome for beginners to ease into poses, and since using it daily, I’ve noticed my head’s clearer, I’m more calm and focused. It’s great.”
From painting to yoga to music, Gabrielle Maryse Bucaya, coordinator at Thinkwell Studio Montréal loves to boost her creativity by listening to a new album each week. “I especially enjoy listening to artists or bands of the 60s, 70s or 80s eras because of their unique sound, the way they tell their stories through lyrics, and each song provides a different time or place,” she noted. “For me, especially as a writer, it motivates me and elevates my mood to be as productive as I can through a project.”
Thinkwellians use a wide variety of tactics to keep their minds sharp as they work from home and maintain a level of mindfulness. Much like changes midstream in a project, we find ways to adjust to new scenarios thrown our way while retaining our passion for our creativity and curiosity. We hope this list gives you inspiration and insight to try out a new site, attempt painting, or even dive into yoga. Above all, the most important thing is that you keep that creative spark alive.
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