20 Jan

5 Podcasts that Inspire Creativity

Anyone else feeling the winter blues?

Here on the east coast it is oddly not frigid, which somehow makes winter even harder to get through. We keep looking over our shoulders for the “real winter” to get here. Regardless, even with the 50-something degree temperatures, right now it feels impossible to get the creative juices flowing, especially early in the morning, when the sun isn’t even out yet. Where are you sun?

As much of an over-exaggeration as that was, sometimes it’s just plain hard to sustain creativity. We all have our slumps. When we, at Eleven Peppers, hit one of those speed bumps we find it extremely handy to look toward the creative community for inspiration. One way we do this is by tuning in to our favorite podcasts; so here is a starter set that we believe will burst open the figurative imagination-dams and let the brilliant ideas flow.

99% Invisible: Episode 128 – IKEA Hacking
Because who doesn’t love a good IKEA hack? This episode dives into the worldwide phenomenon with guest, Jules Yap (pseudonym), creator of the popular website. The site allows innovators around the world to contribute to an extensive library of “hacks”, share their how-to guides, and trade tips with each other. Although we rarely hack apart and put back together furniture for our clients (okay, never), the ingenuity packed into this podcast is awe-inspiring.

After the Jump: Episode 62 – Sources of Inspiration
Literally a “jumping-off” point for figuring out where to look for inspiration and more importantly, how to harness it once you’ve found it. The show’s host Grace Bonney discusses her personal sources of inspiration. We find that hearing about how others’ stay creative only fuels our own creativity.

How I Built This: Episode 1 – Spanx
If you love TED Radio Hour (see next podcast suggestion) you may love this even more! Each episode features the founder(s) of popular brands and companies. In particular, their first episode with guest Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx) is an inspirational, sweet, yet self-deprecatingly funny depiction of how the mega-brand started from the meekest beginnings. It reminds us that no matter how small our idea is today, we have the power to make it grow.

TED Radio Hour
And of course TED Radio Hour. Each episode combines TED Talks that converge upon a central theme.

The Power of Design: Design is all around us. This episode touches on how design is and can be used to influence personal experiences, thoughts, feelings, and much more. Just remember to use that power for good.

How Things Spread: The various speakers in this episode provide unique views on how things, like laughter or viruses, spread and how those same concepts can be applied to other endeavors. It will really open your mind.

Of course there are plenty more, but we hope that this little “booster pack” will evoke creativity, inspire innovation and remind you that “winter is coming”… just kidding, winter will come to an end, as will any slump you find yourself in.

01 Jan

New Year, Only Slightly Improved You

Around this time last year we launched our new website. It was the mark of new beginnings. Our goal was to showcase the incredible talent of our own pepper family as well as others in the design community and beyond. #fail

Okay, that might sound a little harsh. We definitely have shared some of the amazing work we’ve done but we certainly didn’t meet all of our goals. Isn’t that always the case with New Year’s resolutions? You start off strong and then the bubbles from the night before wear off. We’ve all been there.

Not this year! That’s where “New Year, Only Slightly Improved You” comes in, because let’s be honest, you’re awesome as you are but we all know we want more from ourselves. From businesses wanting to rebrand to individual health goals…. hey, maybe you really just want to start that capsule wardrobe you’ve been obsessively researching on Pinterest. Whatever it is, now is the perfect time for a redesign and we want to lead the way.

To get ourselves, and maybe you, going, here are four easy steps to help kick start and keep resolutions and what you can expect from us this year.

  1. Write it down. And we don’t mean taking a screenshot of the tweet you just posted. We’re getting organized with a social media calendar. Ink only… no going back!
  2. Tell other people. Just like we’re letting you know our plans, you’ll be more accountable with yourself if you share your goals with others.
  3. Take baby steps. We’re starting with bi-weekly blog posts among a variety of weekly social media updates.
  4. Celebrate those baby steps. As soon as this post is published, we’re grabbing whatever champagne is left over from last night and toasting, but do something that appeals to you and aligns with your goals.

So those are our steps to sticking to resolutions. We will post more blog content (biweekly to start), give in-depth looks at our design process, share resources and advice, and tweet/post/share/like/follow the heck out of all the incredible work our peppers as well as other swoon worthy businesses and individuals create this year.

As always please reach out, leave feedback, share your own work with us, or just ask questions AND be sure to connect with us on social media (buttons below) so you don’t miss anything.