Staying Creative // Lisa Galek

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! I’m back with the next installment of my Staying Creative series. I’m excited to introduce you all to Lisa — an inspiring friend of mine who shares my love for words. Her inspirations definitely speak to my word-loving heart, and I hope you’re as inspired by her interview as I was.



First of all, big thanks to Katie for letting me contribute to this series and inviting me to appear on her beautiful and inspiring blog!

So, what’s inspiring me right now? Well, that’s a good question.


This one is kind of obvious, right? Who doesn’t love working for themselves? Who wouldn’t be inspired by a new adventure every day? Well, it took me a long time to get here.

It’s kind of weird to think of myself as an “artist.” Up until a few months ago, I probably would have thought of myself as a regular old cubicle dweller. Certainly not as someone anyone else would look to for inspiration. I was working as an editor for a major company in Cleveland, and while my work was creative, that creativity was squeezed in between endless meetings, deadlines, and paperwork. I badly needed some inspiration in my life.

The thing I missed most while doing my job was actually writing. Since I was mostly reworking other people’s stuff, I didn’t have as much opportunity to come up with things on my own. Yes, editing is creative, but I had an itch and I needed to scratch it.

So, I decided to make a change.

I quit the regular job and started doing freelance writing. Though quitting a full-time job in a bad economy seems insane, so far it’s worked out pretty well (thanks to the support of my awesome husband). So, why is writing and working on my own terms so inspirational?

  • I get to write. Every day. Yay!
  • I set my own schedule every week. That means lots of working in my P.J.’s.
  • Every week is something new and different. New assignments, new projects, new ideas and inspiration.
  • I’m my own boss. ‘Nuff said.

But the #1 one reason freelance writing is so awesome and inspirational…


Being at home more has given me a chance to spend more time with my family, which includes my two lovely daughters – Elizabeth and Gwendolyn.


My girls inspire my work in so many ways. Sometimes its obvious, like when I’m working on writing geared towards kids. Sometimes, they’re just laughing at my corny jokes (kids love fart jokes, which makes me feel better when I throw one in somewhere). But, most of the time they’re just hanging around, being their adorable selves, and lighting up my life.

Of course, there are always those times where I have to throw on the TV so I can proofread something (“Hold on, girls, Mommy is looking up the correct spelling of the word “latte”). So, I’m grateful when they don’t freak out over my work and home worlds colliding.

#3 – BOOKS

Last, but definitely not least. Books always inspire me. Any time I have questions, worries, concerns, or just down time, I turn to books. (Sure, I also turn to people too, but until I can resurrect Jane Austen and make her my best friend, I’m still gonna need to keep my copy of Pride and Prejudice handy).

Pretty much the only downside to being a freelance writer and mom is that these other awesome things take away from the precious time I could be spending with books. Sure, family and writing come first, but books are my first love.

Before I could write, before my daughters were even though of, there were books. And I was a reader. So, anytime I get a chance to snuggle up with one of my favorites or a new favorite-in-the-making, I take it.

Here’s a little tribute to my all-time good reads:

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • The Bible by God (and various other folks)

So, that’s what’s inspiring me right now. How about you?

Lisa is a freelance writer and editor, and you can connect with her via her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing your inspirations and creative journey with us, Lisa!

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How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Staying Creative // Jordan of Create Like Crazy

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! I’m excited to be back with the next feature in my Staying Creative series. Today’s guest is Jordan Brantley of Create Like Crazy. Her blog is another one on my must-read list. It’s full of inspiring features that encourage you to live a creative life (right up my alley, right?!). ;) I always find refreshment when I stop by her site. (Be sure to check out her Behind The Blog interviews, Lessons in Inspiration, and all of her great art + design posts!)

And now, I’m turning it over to Jordan, so she can share her current inspirations:


I’m realizing more and more how important it is to have resources of inspiration for those days when it just doesn’t come easily. This is especially true for creative business owners. Our paychecks depend on our creativity! 


The things inspiring my creative process recently have (surprisingly?) been away from the computer. Pinterest is great, of course, but sometimes, the real world can be much more exciting. 

Here are my current top 3:

Publications. Since a lot of my job as a designer is coming up with creative ways to present information, printed resources are a great way for me to get my hands on fresh inspiration. I love tearing out pages and making notes right there on the page! 

“Just browsing.” When I worked at J. Crew, I would often get the “just browsing” response from customers when I offered my assistance. Although this is not so great for the stores conversion rates, it can be an amazing source of inspiration. I often go into Anthropologie just to check out their displays. (And check out the sale rack, of course! ) They always amaze me with their creative ideas and use of everyday material to create something beautiful. I have gained a lot of color and pattern inspiration from browsing retail stores, as well! 


Friends! I’ve been incredibly blessed by so many creative people, especially the wonderfully talented women who contribute to CLC. Every time I am in contact with any of them, I come away encouraged, motivated, and FULL of fresh ideas! It is easy — for those of us who work from home especially — to become disconnected and let our relationships become distant. I encourage you to keep your relationships at the top of your priority list and make a point to connect with other creative people. The blogging community is a wonderful place to find other creatives to connect with and build lasting relationships. That is my favorite part of blogging by far!  


Thank you, Katie, for including me in your wonderfully creative + community-building feature! I can’t wait to meet others through your blog and learn new ways of finding inspiration! 

Thanks for sharing your inspirations, Jordan!

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Jordan Brantley is a designer living in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Chris. When she’s not doing design work, blogging on Create Like Crazy, or creating new products for her Etsy store Ink + Paper, she’s dreaming up her next crazy endeavor! 

{All photos courtesy of Jordan.}

How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)


Staying Creative // Allie From Be Up & Doing

Staying CreativeHi, friends,

I’m excited to be kicking off a new creative series this week. The idea behind my Staying Creative series is to feature the current inspirations of other artists, designers, writers, and bloggers. By sharing how we’re all staying engaged in our artistic pursuits, it is my hope that we can create community and inspire each other to keep creating. :-) Each feature will include three things currently inspiring the creative process of the person being featured.


For the first in the series, I’m excited to introduce Allie Lehman from Be Up & Doing. Allie’s blog is one of my regular reads, and I love following along on her adventures in life and design, reading her insightful tips for blogging, and being inspired to do some exploring via her city guides. 

(P.S. Here’s her guide for Cleveland! Do you spot your city?)

Now on to Allie’s inspirations:


1. Working with tangible products: I’ve recently brought on a few clients who are selling or promoting real products. It’s so fun to experience things by touching them or learning about the time that is put in to making them. Very different than working digitally.


2. Photography: While I’m blogging or designing, I’m not interacting very much with other human beings (mostly just my dog). Taking on photography + booking portrait sessions has really inspired me and motivated me to get outside with other people!


3. My home: We just moved into a new townhouse, and I finally have an office! I have had a lot of fun decorating and adding in new pieces of furniture. As I type this, however, my desk is a mess! Sometimes it’s hard to stay neat while you’re busy.

Thanks for sharing your inspirations, Allie! 

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Allie Lehman is an independent designer living in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and cutie pie dog. Recently self-employed, Allie works with individuals and small businesses to enhance and unify their visual brand. When she’s not designing, she’s either bloggingsnapping photos, or helping others learn through online sessions

{All photos courtesy of Allie.}

How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)