Spencer Riedel is a composer and sound designer at Bearcowboy.
“Some people need to be left completely alone to contemplate, or to distract themselves before their mind will be ready for that sudden blast of light that makes the way forward clear. I am not one of those people.“
Outsourcing Eureka Moments
… Every time I have had a “breakthrough” with a problem I’m working on, it has come mid-sentence while talking to somebody else. Since I recently became aware of this pattern, I make a point to spend at least a little time talking about my creative blocks with those around me.
Will Stowell is a freelance sound designer & dialogue editor living around Seattle, WA.
“I’ve always had a work mentality of no goofing off when at work, but when working at home, it’s different.”
“I find that when working on a long, boring project, I will start to drift into my web browser and check up on stuff, look at gear I wish I could buy or end up Googling some random question / thing / issue.
To combat this, I:
Take a break when tired.
Coffee time! Get enough sleep! Even a quick break.
Carlye Nyte is a sound designer and musician for games and virtual reality. She currently resides in Seattle, WA. Her favorite cartoon is Steven Universe.
“When I was in school I had a classmate friend whose love of cartoons and synths went so hand in hand that every patch she made was a burst of color and nostalgia.
I called her my muse.“
“Whenever I was uninspired or overworked, a simple chat with her was like discovering a new flavor of sonic ice cream. I always had homework: artists to listen to, cartoons to watch, Kickstarters to fund, etc. When my MIDI controller broke, she gave me a new one. She helped me make it through school.
At the time, to me, she was pure inspiration. It’s not easy to find people like that. But I think it’s important to remember those people and experiences and carry them with you.
Sometimes, when I am worn out and find my feet dragging, I think about that friend. And usually end up watching a cartoon. I’ve gotten ideas from the interplay between color palette and sonic palette in some cartoons, how playful and comforting the sounds can be.
It’s been good for me to have a foundation of inspiration that I can always return to, whether it’s really relevant to my current project or not.
It’s all about those strange things that get you going.”
Feona Lee Jones is a composer, pianist, synth nerd, and telepathic bird(s). She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area.
“It’s about setting manageable and reachable goals.”
“For inspiration: I turn to things like hiking, swimming, live music, and movies.
For distractions, I get out into nature. I reward myself with sushi at the end of the day if I get everything finished that I wanted to.”
Jerry Berlongieri is an audio director, composer and sound designer currently residing in Cambridge, MA.
“I’ve never really regarded inspiration and distraction as mutually exclusive. I tend to see distraction as a form of inspiration. “
“My advice would be: ‘Don’t avoid it, don’t push it away or see it as the enemy. Steer into the skid and see where it takes you.’
Distraction serves as a mental safeguard, protecting you from obsession. It also serves to remind that creativity is personally expressed through the synthesis of experiences around you.