Writer Gets Inspired

It wasn't difficult for me to get inspired to write this piece on Inspired. Fear is a strong source of inspiration for me and I was fearful of how annoyed my editor would be if I didn't turn in this article when it was due. I was also inspired to write by the inspirational nature of my subject, a book that finds authors Dorte Nielsen and Kiki Hartmann picking the brains of Europe's creative elite - we're talking fashion designers, architects, photographers and advertising agency creatives - to learn how they think, how they work and where they find inspiration.

Inspired provides insight from creatively gifted people like Rosie Arnold, deputy executive creative director at BBH London, and Wieden + Kennedy London executive creative directors Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth, as well as a peek at their work environments, the objects that inspire them and even their doodles. The hardcover book - originally published by Amsterdam's BIS Publishers in 2005 and now in its fourth printing due to popular demand - is packed with photos.

It's interesting to discover what gets a creative person's juices flowing. For Arnold, it can be humor - more specifically, a good joke. "A really good joke forces you to look at things differently," she muses.

Martin Galton, creative director at Hooper Galton, has had some of his best thinking come out of things gone wrong. "I really love mistakes," Galton says. "I like it when you mishear things or when you've drawn something that is not quite what you intended."

Photography inspires Davidson and Papworth. They like to take pictures of cars with broken side-view mirrors because the remedies people devise to fix them - think duct tape - are inspirational to them.

Mark Denton, creative director at COY! Communications, says collecting items like board games from the 1960s, sparks his creativity. That said, Denton hates clutter, so after he amasses a collection, he gives it away and starts another.

Collecting doesn't work for everyone. Andrew Smart, art director at Mensch, collected plastic Japanese toys and football annuals because he saw it worked for so many other creative folks, but collecting didn't inspire him one bit, so he stopped. As abstract as it sounds, the collusion of opposing forces does it for Smart, who says loud music in a tranquil setting and high-tech combined with low-tech triggers creative thinking in him.

Vicki Maguire, a copywriter at Hurrell Moseley Dawson Grimmer in London, finds inspiration strikes when she's seated, although not necessarily at her desk. "I don't know why, but I do my best thinking on the toilet," she confesses.

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