How to Find Creative Inspiration in Your Work
Google Group Creative Director Brandon Viney joined us on the Creative Confidence Podcast to share advice on how to use what inspires you to guide your creative identity. Here are five lessons that stuck with us.
Listen to Brandon’s thoughts on tapping into your passions to chart a creative career path, the value of mentorship and how to start a mentorship practice, and tips for finding daily inspiration in the full podcast episode below.
1. Ask “why” to shape your creative identity.
"Oftentimes, people can really tell you what they love. They just can’t hone in on why they love it. In that discovery is the beginning of your creative identity.” — Brandon Viney
Identify artists, designers, or creatives who you find yourself gravitating toward. Then, find a few pieces of work from each person, and put words to feelings by writing down what you like about them. After Brandon realized that the humanness of Chuck Close’s portraits resonated with him, he began to incorporate the same qualities into his own creative work.
2. Make social media work for you.
"Hacking the algorithm to see the things you want to see is such a strong way to really become confident in doing creative work.” — Brandon Viney
Don’t get sucked into an endless scroll—search with a purpose. Look specifically for things and topics that inspire you, whether it’s pottery or filmmaking, and learn as much as you can. Social media can be an amazing source of inspiration and a way to build confidence in your knowledge before you start creating.
3. Find the human truth in stories.
"People aren’t coming from the same starting point, and everyone has a different story and a different journey.” — Brandon Viney
For stories to really resonate, look for the human truth in them. When Brandon worked on the Black History Month Moments in Search project, he examined Google search data to tell a real, honest story about the Black community. As part of the Just a Kid From campaign, Brandon created The Rose, an inspiring story about basketball player Derrick Rose overcoming adversity.
4. Approach mentoring with empathy.
"My goal is to give you the escalator, because I took the stairs. And all I ask is that you give someone else the elevator.” — Brandon Viney
When becoming a mentor, Brandon notes that it’s important to keep empathy in mind. Don’t assume that everyone is on the same level, starting from the same place with the same information. People come with different backgrounds and lived experiences, so take the time to understand who they actually are and where they’re coming from.
5. Consult your muses.
"Take elements and combine them to make something new and interesting. When you look at your favorite designers, they’ve all pulled inspiration from other people.” — Brandon Viney
Think of your muses, and envision asking them how they might approach a challenge or situation. Doing so gives you a way of thinking from a new, fresh perspective. As a DJ for 20 years, music is what inspires Brandon’s creative work. He asks himself, “What is the song that answers the creative brief?” Brandon says that as in music, it’s important to sample and get inspiration from the muses who inspire you as a creative.
About The Speaker
Brandon Viney, Group Creative Director at Google
Brandon is a Group Creative Director at Google who previously held roles in art direction at Wieden + Kennedy and WORK Labs. He has an extensive portfolio of creative work that includes projects with Nike, TurboTax, and Coca-Cola. Some of Brandon’s notable work includes Year in Search for Google, Black Girl Magic for Google, and Don't Do It for Nike. See more of Brandon’s work at: brandonviney.com
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