On Inspiration

How the power of nostalgia and pop culture creates incredible ideas

Periodically, we like to share insights from the heart of Real Art. Straight from the source, these “wiretaps” feature experts in the Real Art tribe, offering an inside look at the personalities and passions flowing through our home and pervading our work. In this piece, Real Art’s Executive Creative Director and “fearless leader” Chris Wire talks about inspiration.

Look at the past for inspiration.

We look all over the place for inspiration. But the past is easier to peg. We try to find those quintessential references; those things you remember from your childhood and can tap into emotionally. We leverage a previously established understanding, and then spin that in a new way. If you think about films, for example, have you ever realized that the future tends to look a lot like the past? Just with a slight little twist…

Look at pop culture for inspiration.

Pop culture references are powerful—they instantly strike a chord with people. There’s power when you can run with that. We say, “That’s cool and unique and interesting. Let’s take it and change it and make it our own.” This is how we’re inspired, we find that cultural gold nugget and then leverage and build upon it. When you can do this, the message is heard that much more clearly.

Inspiration is infinite. Give it room.

You can never run out of ideas. It’s not like there’s a finite bucket that you just reach into. There is always something else. Somebody else around you is always going to inspire you with a nugget of an idea, even if they don’t see the true brilliance in it. Ideas are infinite. We will always be coming up with something new, always trying to top the last thing that we did. At times, it’s easy to forget that. You’re like, “Fuck. Well, you know, maybe we’re not going to get it, or maybe there is nothing left in there.” That’s when you need to go out, talk to other people, read a book, get online, watch TV, whatever it might be. You need to just clear your head of the pressure of having to come up with something and let it seep in. The answers are always there. We always find them.

Got you hooked? Here’s more:


The Magic of Brainpower, Deductive Abilities, and Curiosity
Chris Wire discusses creativity and curiosity at TEDxDayton


On Storytelling
Chris Wire on the purpose and power of spinning out a good yarn


The Engine of Awe
More bites of insight from Real Art’s “fearless leader”

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