Keeping the Creative with Rachel Giberson

 Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis. 
Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis. 
 Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis. 
Photo by Chelsea Laine Francis. 

I’m Rachel Giberson, and I’m an art director and stylist living with my cool little family in Austin, TX. I love creating things, I’m a big eater, and I’m happiest when I’m outside. It’s safe to say that Austin is heaven to me.

I’ve always been fascinated with business, specifically branding, and how brands share their stories. This led me to a degree in marketing and subsequent jobs in business and social media. Eventually however, my interest in branding collided with my love of creativity, and I began helping brands tell their stories visually as an art director.

My favorite thing about being an art director is how much it stretches my creativity. No two projects I work on are the same. Because of this, I’ve gotten in the habit of exercising my creativity regularly. Making time to exercise my creative muscles each day certainly informs my work, but it also brings an extra dimension of joy and fun to my life that I don’t think I could get in any other way. I highly recommend it.

Here are a few things I do to stay creative:

I step away from the computer and work with my hands.

I love to peruse Pinterest for inspiration as much as the next gal, but I’ve realized that accessing my creativity rarely happens in front of the computer. Because of this, I make a habit of closing my laptop and finding some way to work with my hands. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Sometimes I work on my latest project, but most of the time I pick up a stack of notecards and a Sharpie and start doodling, cutting, or building. Other times I grab scraps of fabric and cut them in weird shapes, then tie them back together again. Working with something I can physically touch has a way of stirring up my most creative ideas from the depths of my brain, which is usually crowded with to-do lists and other not-so-inspiring thoughts.

I keep a notebook and I use it every day.

I have habitually carried a sketchbook around with me for years, but until recently, I hardly used it. I decided earlier this year that I would write down and sketch every little idea that came into my head, no matter how silly I might feel or how odd the idea might seem. Believe me, there are some truly weird things in my notebook, but it’s my notebook and I get to make the rules! Anything goes!

At first glance, this might seem pointless, but the more I practice extracting ideas from my mind and putting them on paper, the easier it is to access that creative part of my brain again. It reminds me of these tiny paths in the greenbelt surrounding our home, which are, in fact, made by deer who follow the same trail to find water each day. If I take a moment to recognize and write down a creative thought, eventually I’ll beat a more defined path to the part of my brain that’s generating those thoughts, making it easier to access when I need it.

If I have an idea I can’t stop thinking about, I just make it.

I learned recently that I can make things just because I want to. I don’t need a reason to justify creating something–the fact that I want to create is reason enough. So, here’s my rule: if I can’t stop thinking about an idea, I just make it. Not every creation can be sold, or even shared, but the process of making things is always enjoyable. So, if I want to make a collage out of magazine clippings, or a picture with my son’s crayons, I just do it. I think that saying yes to things like this keeps creativity fun for me, and keeping things fun just naturally generates more creativity.

Scroll to Top