creativity fuel sources fresh flowers

No. 1  Fresh Flowers

If I have one weekly indulgence, it would be buying $10 supermarket flowers for my desk. Not only do they literally make me stop and smell the roses throughout the day, but that little change of something alive and new in color, scent and texture keeps my workspace feeling fresh too. A necessary expense for me.

creativity fuel sources art exhibitions museums Getty sculptures

No. 2  Art Exhibitions & Museums

One of my girlfriends wanted to treat me to a birthday celebration, and I asked to spend that with her at the Getty Museum on Saturday. Soaking up history, learning about new artists, seeing works up close and personal invigorate me like no other. I am already planning my 2nd annual trip to Art Basel in Miami in December — it refreshed me so much last year!

creativity fuel sources design fashion art books

No. 3  Design Books

No doubt you’ve seen my home and office enough times by now to know I have a lot of design books. Depending on the project I’m conceptualizing on a particular day, I’ll flip through a few that are relevant (and sometimes not relevant at all). It amazes me what off-the-wall ideas spring up from this exercise. They truly expand my creativity in unique ways.

creativity fuel sources magazines vintage Vogue Harpers Bazaar

No. 4  Magazines (vintage ones are great too)

When I’m feeling stuck, I’ll venture out to the bookstore and check out what’s the latest to hit the newsstands. Or, I’ll reference my collection of vintage magazines (I get mine from Paper Pursuits). Like design books, they get me thinking in different directions and you just never know what will develop out of it.

creativity fuel sources outdoors beach Miami

No. 5  The Beach

Even if you don’t live near the beach, you can step out into the great outdoors for a little fresh air to clear the mind. Taking thoughtful pauses when I’m blocked jump starts the flow of creative juices again. Even more so, taking a time out at the beach for a few hours to breathe in the sights, smells, sounds and sunlight recharges my batteries.

What are your offline sources for original creativity?


Photos 1, 3, 4 by Erika Brechtel (2 & 5 by Ana Miller)

Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. i like to get out for coffee and read a newspaper or magazine.
    being out and about and in the mix with a change of scenery works for me.
    love your pretty pictures!