Why Books are the Perfect Way to Reignite your Creative Flow Whilst Working from Home

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 at the moment, Team Vida have decided to follow government advice and work from home. Erin, our lovely Graphic Designer, has written a little something about her approach to the extra time indoors.

During difficult times, when browsing Twitter leads to anxiety and all news outlets feel rather hopeless, I turn to other activities to keep me feeling positive and light. Reading is an escape for me, a chance for me to put my phone down and break away from constant streams of anxiety-inducing news.

Many people are currently finding themselves working from home or having to spend time self isolating. This extra time indoors can be hard and boredom can quickly set in. Distractions are everywhere at home and it takes a lot of energy to avoid turning on the TV or raiding the cupboard for another biscuit break. As well as this, your creative flow can quickly dwindle if you’re not the self motivated type. I personally find it hard to cook up my best ideas when I’m trapped indoors so I’ve turned to books as the perfect way to refresh my mind and stay away from screens when I need a little extra boost.

Although Pinterest is one of my favourite sources of creative inspiration, it can suck you in for hours. One moment you’re looking at inspiration for your current project and the next you’re somehow looking at a recipe for vegan brownies? There are many marvellous sites out there devoted to articles of dazzling design inspiration but unfortunately even having a web browser open makes it all too easy to “take a little peek” at what’s happening on Twitter or LinkedIn, and then before you know it time has slipped away! This is why I believe books are the perfect working-from-home source of inspiration; no distractions, no flashy ads in corners, no temptation to switch over to social media sites and it’s the perfect excuse to save your eyes from screen time.

There are so many great books suitable for drawing out inspiration but here are some of my favourites I’ll definitely be reaching for whilst working from home:

Make your Own Luck by Kate Moross

Kate Moross, of Studio Moross, is one of my favourite designers, their radical use of type and colour has embellished numerous projects and their style has become rather iconic, working with clients such as MTV, Parklife and more recently branding the Spice Girls’ ‘Spice World’ tour. This book offers personal advice from Kate on how to navigate the design industry and how to create your own opportunities, as well as an inside look at how Kate grew their personal style. A great read for when you’re unsure what your next move should be as a designer!

Oh Sh*t What Now by Craig Oldham

This book is less about design work created by Craig himself but more about advice for new and established designers. As a designer not too far into their career, I pick this book up when I’m feeling a little lost. Craig gives clear, honest advice which I feel like every one stepping into the industry ought to hear.

Typography Sketchbooks by Lita Talarico and Steven Heller

An inside look into sketchbooks by typographers from around the world. I love to see all of the various styles and remind myself that everyone works differently, some sketches are meticulously thought out whilst some are wild and loose.

Brand Brilliance by Fiona Humberstone

A great book to pick up as a refresher of the principles of branding, especially from a business point-of-view, Fiona breaks down the steps to creating and defining a brand’s personality and position. Her writing style feels relaxing yet reassuring, the perfect mix for working during such an anxious time!

Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

Almost everyone has been awestruck by a Pixar film at some point in their life; whether it was from the enchanting storytelling or the incredible advancements of computer technology, Pixar founder Ed Catmull retells accounts from the early days of the legendary animation studio. As well as this, he offers an insight into the challenges the company has faced and the problems that come with managing a very large, but infinitely creative team. An exciting and down-to-earth read from a studio which feels so faultless in so many ways.

However you entertain yourself whilst in this prolonged period of staying indoors, it’s good to get away from screens and constant media streams as much as possible. What books will you be picking up?