I’m learning that creative business is a fine balance between inspiration and beautiful solutions. If you aren’t careful to channels your inspiration, it can become overwhelming and counter productive.

So, i can easily spend hours flipping through Pinterest or watching cool videos on Vimeo, but if I don’t cap that time I’ll lose out on important time to be creative myself. It’s a constant struggle to compartmentalize my day into finding inspiration and then doing the actual work that comes from it.

And since we started Image Propeller Studios in May, I’ve been trying to not only discover inspiration, but also articulate why something is inspiring. For every creative person, inspiration is constantly evolving, so I thought I’d share my Top 5 Creative Inspirations for July. Next month, I’m sure I’ll have a whole new set, so I’ll share them with you again. So, let’s get to it…

1.) Animation: When I studied animation at Emily Carr University, I found the National film board of Canada to be a constant source of motivation. I recently revisited Caroline Leaf’s work, an animator who used experimental techniques like sand on glass, or ink and paint on glass, to give her films a fluid and dreamy effect. The beauty and style of her work still resonates with me today.

Also inspiring is the profound Ryan Larkin. Pure artistic genius! You cannot mistake his natural intuition for human nature and movement. Check out his film, Walking which illustrates beauty and diversity through the simple act of walking. It reminds me why I wanted to learn how to tell stories through animation in the first place.

2.) Technique : I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about making whiteboard animations lately. If you haven’t heard of this technique, then you may be living under a rock because they are one of the hottest ways of communicating ideas on the web right now.

Check out the rsa website where you will find a huge selection of whiteboard videos. I am amazed at how this simple technique works over and over again to keep the audience’s attention and solidify the story through images. Note how hypnotized you get by watching the hand move at a consistent speed across the screen, revealing each image effortlessly.

3.) Documentary : I’m a member of and recently my friend Andria at Digital Messenger, directed me to the documentary section where I discovered a wealth of inspiring material. The documentaries share information about artist, interviews with creative people and behind the scene of media techniques.

The one about Marian Bantjes blew me away with the information about the artistic life a graphic designer could lead. This film came to me at exactly the right time as I need the constant reminder to explore my own style, even when working with clients.

4.) Blogs and Projects : I came across Brock Davis’  Make Something Cool Every Day project during my daily blog roll. My first thought was, too much commitment; run away.  But after seeing Brock’s remarkable results, I’m completely inspired to discover how this project develops discipline and keeps the creative process fresh.

I’m not sure what I will do with this inspiration… the thought has crossed my mind to start a personal blog. I’ll keep you posted on that one! In the meantime, check out Brock’s work. Sometimes he explored one idea over many days; other times he jumped from one random thought to the next without any rhyme or reason. There are no rules and I love it!

5.) Books : I’ve been reading Carrie Wilkerson’s The Barefoot Executive and found her advice to be spot on. A mom of 4 children, Carrie has built a successful business at home. It is the first business book I’ve picked up that offers specific advice about managing a business from home successfully.

Life is incredibly stressful for my family right now and as I’m reading this book, I feel like Carrie understands completely. I didn’t plan on starting Image Propeller Studios… the idea was born out of desperation and panic after I was laid off from work. And although this business has grown into something I’m very passionate about, the fear of failure continues to creep up on me each day.

Carrie’s voice is warm, clear and direct; exactly the tone I need to help build my confidence and assure me that if I focus and put the work in, everything will be alright. A great book for any Mom trying to juggle family life and self-employment.

More to come next month! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook! 



Image Propeller Studios