We're continuing our series of posts to highlight the things that inspire us as strategists and designers. Our work is a blend of art and science, and the heart and soul that is put into our work is from real people. So instead of creating empathy with our clients, we're giving you a chance to empathize with us. Learn about what moves us, inspires us and drives our work.

Next up is Creative Director, Eric Beckman.

"Life’s short, so let's get after it!"
Eric Climbing

What inspires you?

The Outdoors. I'm inspired by people that get after life in general, but especially people who like to explore nature and have an adventure. I love falling down YouTube rabbit holes about North Face. Watching climbing and mountaineering videos just gets me excited for life! Life’s short, so let's get after it!

Culture. I’m about to go on my fourth cross country road trip at the end of August. Part of what makes these trips so amazing is all the small towns and different cultures we can experience in this country. It’s crazy how amazing this country is. It’s so different from shore to shore and yet somehow we manage to come together and make it work. It’s far from perfect but at the end of the day our differences and diversity are part of what makes us who we are and I love that I have the freedom to experience all of it. I think it's an easy thing to forget sometimes so I try not to.

Pop Culture. Everything from movies, posters, comic books and stand up comedy. I love seeing people put their passions into something. These things directly inform the way I create. Plenty of culture inspires me— the opening credits in a movie, the stand-up comedy that I'm listening to while I’m working as well as the artwork from a comic book.

Eric outdoors
Eric Biking

How does that inspiration manifest itself in your work?

Outdoors keeps me healthy and clear headed. Being active and always looking for new adventures keeps my stress level way down and keeps that hunger for adventure alive. Adventure doesn’t always have to be on a rock face somewhere. It can also be in the projects you work on. You just have to be willing to look for it.

Culture is giant in my work because it helps inform the way I see and think about the world around me. Helps me communicate in different ways, to put myself into the shoes of the people for whom I’m talking or solving problems.

Pop Culture is all over my work, from fonts to colors to tone and voice of copy.

How do you stay inspired?

For better or worse I have this thing where I always have to do my best. In everything I do. I want be the best I can at whatever it is; designing, climbing, martial arts, it doesn’t matter the subject.  So that mindset causes me to be constantly looking at new things, new ways of doing something. If one of my design tools like Illustrator or Photoshop adds a new feature, I go play around with it.

I read articles, books, listen to podcasts. I’m in the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Slack channel, where I help out with portfolio reviews. All these things help me stay inspired and continuing to learn. Our industry is always changing and if you’re not growing and changing with it, you’re not going to be able to keep getting after it.

Eric Climbing
Eric Climbing
"Our industry is always changing and if you’re not growing and changing with it, you’re not going to be able to keep getting after it."