Carla Like It Is

A Presentation with Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge: Creativity, Inspiration, and Great Ideas

Kayd Roy1 Comment
Last Thursday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a presentation with Grace Bonney, the creator and blogger behind Design*Sponge.  I’m guessing you have come across Design*Sponge before if you are into blogging, but just in case….

Design*Sponge features store and product reviews, city, product and gift guides, DIY projects, before and after furniture and home makeovers, home tours, recipes, and more!  Her site has been dubbed ‘Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials' and has 75,000 daily readers- that number boggles my mind! 
I felt so lucky to spend an hour listening to her story and experience.  She began by stating that:
 -creativity is inspired by the presence and absence of great ideas

This was the basis for where her blog began back in 2004.  Based in Brooklyn, she saw so many creative ideas from local designers that was not being shared anywhere.  Many ideas were being born out of DIY projects and handmade crafts, not high priced design.  Baffled there was no media coverage of this, she decided to start Design*Sponge as an outlet for what she was seeing and loving.  With that, the blog community began sharing and growing.

Bonney covered more details on her life, the growth of her blog and how it has evolved over the past 7 years. But for this post, I wanted to focus on her advice to designers, bloggers, and other individuals in a creative field.  Bear in mind, this is recap of the notes I scribbled down as she presented (they may not be word for word quotes).

Prevent Creative Burnout: Stay Inspired
  • Keep collaborating within your community to keep inspiration alive
  • Take weekly inspiration trips outside of your own niche (she mentioned how she went to a salt store for inspiration, totally random place to look for inspiration, but she found it)
  • Keep your eyes open outside of your laptop, inspiration is outside of the world wide web  
  • Creative people need to be pushed in order to make good work, and they need to know what they consider is good work.
  • Pay attention to those younger and newer to the creative field, they are less afraid of change and risk
  •  Trying and failing more than trying and succeeding is okay, trust you will find the right fit. 
  •   Know what motivates you (her example here was that she worked best with short lead times, when writing she liked seeing her blog posts up right away. Articles for magazines took months before she would see them published).
Overall, she is extremely passionate and fully invested in making sure the design and creative community keeps growing, sharing ideas, and being…well, CREATIVE!  She closed her presentation stating:

~All of us can be that presence or absence of creativity that inspires someone to do something great

I love it, I believe it. 
It is true in my day to day experiences at work, at home, in my community, and in the ‘blog world’.  I’m always inspired by what I see or what I don’t see- it all leads to an idea.

I hope *YOU* found inspiration today!