Like many of you, I went through a bit of media withdrawal a few months back. It all seemed overwhelming and alienating. I wanted to tune much of it out. I stayed away from Facebook and tried not check the news every 5 seconds. That said, as much as I turned away from certain outlets, I felt drawn to others. Whatever your relationship is to modern technology, being able to see so many unique perspectives via platforms like Instagram and podcasts can be hugely inspirational as an artist and designer. I know it has for me. There are so many damn talented people out there sharing their creative process, and it’s amazing how much one can learn from them. Below are just a few of the many people and artists that are giving me serious life right now.
I love insta stories because there’s an immediacy and 3 dimensionality to it. It’s right there in the moment and coming from one person’s perspective one. I especially love that we are privy to all kinds of the small, contextual decisions that creatives make everyday and how that can really open up someone’s process. We usually only see the final result - I like getting to see how a work in progress evolves and insta-stories allows you to do that in real time.
Brian Patrick Flynn @bpatrickflynn - This guy is killing it. I enjoy seeing what inspires him, following his journeys, and hearing him explain how and why he makes certain design choices. He’s verbose, rich storyteller and there’s always much to learn. I often sit there and watch for like 15 minutes. I dare you not to. One day he’s taking you through a whole national park and the next day show you a step-by-step project he’s doing in Arizona. From the tiny decisions he makes to the mistakes he learns from, it feels like you’re right next to him which makes for a great, heady ride if you follow him.
Christiane Lemieux @christianelemieux - Doesn’t that name just roll off the tongue beautifully? Christiane showcases insanely beautiful imagery in her insta stories. She travels to those one-of-a-kind, blow your mind, National Geographic type places that you always dream of going but never seem to be able to get to. She ran a marathon on Mount Kilamanjaro not too long ago and documented the whole thing. Her perspective running on those trails in Africa was breathtaking. I know I’lll never do that, so it was stunning to get a snapshot of what it was like for her.
Erica Reitman @ericareitman - A contributor on HDTV, Erica’s daily insta stories are epic. She’ll briefly discuss design ideas and such, but where she really dives in is on her morning spew talks. There, she just lets everything out in her car as she drinks her coffee. I live for her point of view on daily politics and random domestic ramblings. It also helps that she’s hilarious.
Theodore Leaf @theodoreleaf - Theodore’s a hair stylist/cook with a real knack for storytelling. You get an intimate look at his lifestyle choices, and he’s always telling you about what he’s wearing/cooking. He makes great recipes that anyone can do.
Britany Simon @britanysimon - Badass interior designer and my former co-host on FYI's mega hit "We're Moving In". Britany's insta stories have been amazing lately - she's renovating her own new project and it's super exciting.
I typically listen to podcasts over the weekend on long hikes or walks, sometimes in the car, or when I can actually take a break (which doesn’t happen very often.) I count on podcasts as reliable sources of inspiration and learning. If you’re not currently living the podcast life, I highly recommend you get on the bandwagon.
Clever - This new design podcast is one that I’m really enjoying. They have some incredible guests, with thoughtful questions and insightful answers.
Creative Pep Talk - Another one I find incredibly helpful and inspiring. It’s a show for creatives with a really great host (Andy Miller). It strikes a nice balance between art and business.
Adventures in Design - I recently made a super awesome friend in Mark Brickey who interviewed me for his podcast Adventures in Design. It's the only daily design podcast out there and Mark is seriously the best. You need to check out this show (not just my episode).
The Art of Charm - This is one I’ve always loved. A lifestyle podcast with a focus on personal development, it covers entrepreneurship and a range of business management skills.
INSTAGRAM ARTIST ACCOUNTS
I’m a huge fan of artist feeds, and Instagram is the perfect place for me to draw inspiration from beyond my usual design bubble. Here are a few favorites from across the spectrum:
@benillustrator - I follow a lot of different illustrator accounts. Ben The Illustrator might be my favorite. I love seeing what he’s up to with his color stories and arrangements. You can learn a lot by looking at different artist mediums and applying it to your own art. You might see how Ben pairs orange with different colors, for example, and get an idea of how certain things will work before experimenting with them yourself.
@dabsmyla - Street artists on Instagram blow me away, and Dabsmyla is a fabulous artist duo I always come back to. Check them out.
@tolbest - If you love typography like I do, this Portland artist will put a smile on your face. I can’t get enough.
So, tell me… what’s giving YOU life right now?