It's February already!  So much activity is going on here...portfolios to print, images to process, meetings with clients, editors, art directors, copyists... When, then, do we set aside time for planning, for reaching our HUGE 2009 goals? What is it that keeps us pumped and inspired for the year ahead?

For me, it is the early hours of the morning. For well over a year now, I have been in the habit of getting my day started extra early. It is then, in the serenity of quiet, the peacefulness of morning that thoughts can be entertained with crystal clarity.

As the smell of brewing coffee fills the studio, I review the day's events. Just a quick mental recap of what is planned. Then I take a few minutes to look at websites - clients, competitors, as well as those who’s work in some way inspires me. We all have those sites that we enjoy visiting, no matter what field we are in. It is during that time, when admiring someone else’s work that we may ask, "Wow, how did they do that?" Or we might simply think "That’s nice..."  Something there gets our wheels turning and it is upon those thoughts that our own creative ideas are interjected for the projects ahead.

Keeping our ideas FRESH, keeping our work FRESH and updated will help us to maintain that positive, professional attitude that will have one of our peers… sometime in the early morning hours looking at our work and asking… "Wow, I wonder how they did that..."