The following post is part of a blog series profiling creators. Today's creator – Ryan Cayabyab. Ryan is an award winning Independent UI/UX Designer & Front-End Developer. He has helped with brands such as P&G, Kroger, Toyota, Frameri, and others. He also serves as President of AIGA Cincinnati and is a CreativeMornings/Cincinnati team member.

A place to start

The popular “How To Find Inspiration” or “How To Stay Creative” blog: it’s a great one to read. It’s even better when you are desperately in need of inspiration, which could be why you decided to read this post. I get it, we all hit the wall at some point and want to see how other creatives deal with it.

I’ve seen all kinds of posts about “staying creative” and have had great discussions about it with creatives from all around the world. Each person handles it differently. I’ll give you the most popular solutions:

  • Sketching
  • Going to a museum
  • Traveling
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Watch other creatives work
  • Go for a hike
  • Get outside of your comfort zone (one of my favorites)

The list goes on. When I was a younger designer, I tried them all. I kept a sketch book close by. I always had a camera on hand to capture life. I had an RSS feed of design blogs.

I still do a lot of these things. They’re great and I think people should try them. After time, I recognized the issue with these—they were a short term high. The inspiration quickly dissipated. I needed something longer term.

I found my answer by joining my local chapter of AIGA.

I chose to join the board of AIGA Cincinnati, a professional organization for design working to advance design as a craft, strategic advantage, and a vital cultural force.

Once I joined the board, there was this crazy sense of energy among the board members. After a few months, I realized that their energy and creativity never slowed down. It was constant. It was contagious.

As time passed, I figured out what it was. What kept them going. Simply put—it was passion. But it wasn’t passion for design. It was passion for people, a passion for community. They saw the value of a community and wanted to nurture it.

For me, it’s meeting people that have a passion.

Even if it’s not about a community, that excitement is contagious. Hearing what people love to do and seeing their enthusiasm first hand, that’s the good stuff. It’s a long lasting high.

I’ve been fortunate to have talked to a number of people about their passions. I’ve talked bourbon with Molly Wellman, and typography with Debbie Millman. I see the excitement a design student has when they talk about their projects. These conversations allow me to see what really drives them. I’m sure they see the same thing when I talk about AIGA and CreativeMornings.

That’s my passion—nurturing communities. That’s what keeps me inspired, connecting creatives and sharing in their excitement. One of my most inspiring moments happened in 2015. It was during Cincinnati Design Week's keynote from Pinterest’s own, Brian Singer. During his talk, I was standing there, looking out at the 150+ attendees. I looked at their faces in awe of Brian’s collection of work. That look told me this was the inspiration they needed. That was the inspiration that I needed.

Next time you’re out, talk to somebody new about their passion. Feed off of each other’s excitement, talk about collaboration, or trying something new. If you’re at an AIGA or CreativeMornings event, come find me. Let’s talk about what makes you tick, so I can keep on ticking too.


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Chad Reynolds

Chad Reynolds is the Founder of Batterii, a collaboration platform designed to help teams create better experiences. Over the past 15 years, Chad has worked with brands like Adidas, GE Healthcare, Nike and Procter & Gamble to re-imagine their brand experiences for the next generation of consumers.