When I was in 9th grade my dad gave me a Mozart CD around the time I was about to start studying for my first mid-terms. He told me that listening to it would actually improve my test scores. He was also probably tired of hearing Public Enemy thumping through the wall, can’t imagine why.
I traded the PE for Mozart and was shocked, it totally worked. With Mozart on, I was a genius! Or at least I felt like one. I felt confident, intelligent, and focused. I was suddenly undaunted by the amount of information I had to stuff in my brain. It was powerful stuff.
Our office is in a neighborhood blessed with lots of creativity. During the standard lap around DUMBO you’ll see art covering a full spectrum of moods and mediums on the walls and in the windows. Sculpture, photography, graffiti, street art; it’s all here. As a designer, working around here is very good for what I do. Mozart good. It’s creative brain food and it’s everywhere.
To me, there’s nothing as inspiring as art put up for the non-paying public, without credit, often under the threat of arrest.
But if you ever hear me suggest that we should paint an entire wall with a robotic elephant for a project feel free to rein me in.
Whatever the task, take some time to get into the right place for it, whether mentally or physically. Maybe put on some Public Enemy when you’re brainstorming your next fundraising event. Or… maybe not. But you get the idea.
Try not to lose sight of why you picked your profession in the first place. For me, it was just this kind of art that sparked my interest in design. If you work for a non-profit, chances you were moved by a mission or a personal experience. Use it as fuel and stay inspired. In the end, it’ll show in the work you do.