Natalia, Liz, Anton, Yung-Hung, Matt, & Christy | Design

At Character, inspiration is critical to our design process. Outside references can help awaken new possibilities. Art, music, architecture, and the like reveal never-before seen connections. Exploring our surroundings can help us to see the world anew or recover meaning in a world we thought we had already fully explored.

Here are just a few of the places we’re finding inspiration this month:

In Illustration
Natalia Bivol, Designer

We live in a highly visual time and illustration is having its big moment, increasingly overtaking photography and other media. Oftentimes it is much more efficient and engaging to represent abstract ideas through tangible illustration rather than any other visual media. But, what’s most exciting about illustration is that you can represent anything simply using the power of your imagination and your hand.

Some illustrators that I admire include Tom Haugomat, Jean Jullien, Malika Favre, and Anna Kovecses. They each touch on different stylistic approaches, yet all are bold and distinct. The quality of their work is astonishing and each wisely uses space, color, and composition. A striking simplicity comes across in their work, but at the same time they are able to develop and own their individual voice and personality which is crucial in our highly demanding creative world. I especially love Jean Jullien’s visual puns and witty creativity as well as Tom Haugomat’s cinematic eye and sensibility for light.

In Photography
Liz Tran, Senior Designer 

To me inspiration comes from a multitude of places across a vast cross-section of disciplines. Artists whose work not only moves us, but also challenges each of us to be better at our own crafts stand out to me the most. But above all, they are unmistakable because their voice comes through loud and clear in their work.

When looking for inspiration, I believe one should seek the spark that ignites that initial moment of intrigue. It should plant a seed in your mind to imagine what could be possible for a project or an idea. Most importantly, it should make you feel curious and intrepid and give you a bit of that ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ when you need a creative lift. As of late, I’m drawn to various photographers whose work spans a broad spectrum from lifestyle to reportage to avant-garde fashion photography.

We Are the Rhoads are a husband and wife photographer/director duo based in Los Angeles, CA, who use their visual medium to explore humanity, the world around them, and the sense of wonder that ignites. They have a great respect and passion for what goes into creating the moment-driven, stylized images for which they have come to be known.

Herring and Herring is the collaboration between renowned international fashion photographers Dimitri Scheblanov and Jesper Carlsen. The duo’s photographic approach is based upon conceptual and aesthetic exploration. They continuously push the boundaries of storytelling for their editorial, commercial, and celebrity clients through an ever-expanding visual vernacular.

In Interior Design & Fashion
Anton Schulz, Mid- level Designer 

Being Scandinavian is obviously a huge part of who I am. I feel fortunate to have come from such a design-driven society, a part of the world that values great design. A lot of my core inspiration comes from this heritage. The Scandinavian aesthetic is truly “Less is More” which is a principle I live by every day. I have a great interest in interior design as well as fashion and the designs that come out from Scandinavia in these fields carry a voice of minimalism, emphasize clean lines, and adhere to the concept that form follows function.

Some of my favorite brands in interior design right now include Danish HAY who creates beautiful and timeless pieces for a truly Scandinavian home. In fashion, my current inspiration comes from the Swedish labels COS, Acne Studios and Filippa K—all of whom embody this design essence. I might not wear all their garments, which oftentimes border on avant garde minimalism, but I appreciate the thought that goes into their pieces and feel awe for the design itself.

In Print
Yung-Hung Huang, Mid-level Designer 

You can often find me reading news about my favorite social artists Ai Weiwei and Banksy on the editorial sites Creative Review, The Creator Project and Nowness.

The Creative Review is a UK-based monthly and showcases contemporary advertising, design, illustration, typography, and more. The Creator Project features work from visionary artists that are using technology to “push the boundaries of creative expression.” And Nowness, like the The Creator Project, features influential names in art, design, music, food, etc.

In Architecture
Matt Carvalho, Digital Design Director 

Physical objects living in 3D space are helpful when designing for digital, especially when it comes to logic and structure. I feel that architecture takes on many forms of design; it can work on a utilitarian level as well as an aesthetic one. Architecture, as a discipline, is like digital in that it requires an immense attention to detail. There is something inspiring about having every decision so well thought through. It also shouldn’t be understated how important architecture is to human survival. As a species we need architecture to supply us with shelter and as a place to share with family and loved ones. The idea of doing work that makes someone’s life better—even if in a tiny way—is very important to me.

At Work
Christy Silva, Mid- level Designer 

Inspiration can really be found anywhere and I think that is the beauty of the creative process. There is no start or end, and there are always new ways of seeing things—infinite possibilities and solutions. Most recently, my inspiration has come from my colleagues. Working with motivated and driven designers brings new and exciting perspectives. The buzzing energy rubs off and inspires me to work harder, think conceptually, and often even try something new. I find this valuable because working in an environment with strong cultural values enables me to design in a way that is dynamic and adaptable. I avoid making assumptions, keep an open mind, and am able to create without judgement or fear. To me, that is inspiring.