How Art Directors Stay Inspired

Art Directors Vince Murray, Carmelo Rodriguez, Rob DeLuke and Kathryn McFarlane have all teamed up with FoundFolios to share with us their daily inspiration, their recent work and the aspects of daily life that fuel their daily motivation.

Coming from all different backgrounds, these four individuals with ranging artistic complexities take us through a day in the life of a creative mind and offer some simple tips for staying in touch with not only our own capabilities, but that of those around us. Besides from their creative backgrounds, the four have something else, a shared yet entirely different source of inspiration in common. In fact, the ideas that come to us, one Creative Director suggested, may be as simple as quieting your own voice and listening to others for a change.

Associate Creative Director Vince Murray has spent over 14 years working with Los Angeles agencies on car accounts. Having graduated with a concentration in advertising and design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Vince has become incredibly well versed in print, TV, outdoor, banners, websites, social, videos, pens and t-shirts. Vince believes the true king is the idea.


Vince compares his consumption for daily creative stimuli just to remain relevant in the industry to the need of an athlete, ingesting thousands of calories each day just to burn them and keep his body from failing. He reads blogs and checks websites each morning to keep on top of things and holds a fascination with emerging technologies.

His primary source of inspiration however? The goodness of humanity. Hearing stories of people overcoming obstacles and beating the odds keep Vince positively inspired each day. It is the excellence of mankind that makes Vince want to be better not only in his work, but in his personal life.

Creative Director Carmelo Rodriguez has produced award winning work for Heineken, JCPenney, Sprint, NFL and Wendy’s just to name a few. He made the shift from the US Hispanic and European Markets to become the CD for Y&R/Bravo New York.


Perhaps naming the things Carmelo does not seek inspiration from may form a shorter list! He names the “classic” sources of inspiration; a good movie, a great painting, a book, a controversial art installation, nature, technological advances and so on.

His simplest, yet most “complex and rich source of inspiration,” Rodriguez writes, “People.”

Once again, we are tapped into the delightfully wide spectrum of humanity’s greatness. Urban legends, a classic family tale, a good joke, an insightful conversation over a good bottle of wine, work of friends, coworkers, the local Starbucks barista that consistently spells his name wrong, an argument heard between subway commuters…the things that make us human.

This, Rodriguez writes, is where the most powerful insight and ideas rely.

Boasting over 25 years of experience with East-coast agencies and design firms, Rob DeLuke focuses in corporate branding, strategic creative development and marketing. DeLuke has worked with Disney, Sea World, Hilton, Embassy Suites, General Electric, Pontiac, Toyota and The State of New York. He has formed TILT36T ˚; an advertising and content and design firm made up of a collection of visual storytellers, creating brands from ideas and stories.


While DeLuke admits that spending long periods of time in front of the computer leads him to glean inspiration from visual blogs and social media sites – his true inspiration comes from the time spent away from his computer. It is during his times of coaching young disabled children at baseball and wandering aimlessly through tends during unbearable summer heat to find upcoming artists that he finds his real inspiration. “Inspiration truly is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes a little bit to see it all around you,” DeLuke wrote.

Associate Creative Director at Team One Marketing, Kathryn McFarlane, graduated from the Art Center College of Design where she began working as a writer and artist. Kathryn explained that her inspiration comes within the details. “The way whipped cream is shaped on the top of a pastry. The light that glows out of windows at night. The pattern of little dimples on the skin of an orange…The way leaves on a tree branch move in the wind.” McFarlane creates her work based on the way they feel, rather than the way they look.


On staying inspired, Kathryn remarked that she’s never not inspired. Her Pinterest board has notes and and ideas that she’s ready to tackle. And similarly to the other creatives we’ve inspired; Kathryn finds a main source of inspiration to be from the illustrator and fine artist she lives with. “I find we have a habit of inspiring each other,” she wrote.

It seems for all of the above Creative Directors, the mere presence and power of both like-minded individuals and strangers inhabiting the world at large make for a wonderful, constantly flowing source of inspiration.

Lindsey Steinberg

Having graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Sociology and a concentration in Creative Writing from Purchase College, Lindsey's love for crafting creative content and brainstorming blog posts has allowed her access into the worlds of Advocacy, Freelancing, Journalism, Copywriting, Columnism, Ecommerce, Editorial Work and now - Art. She has a deep love for memoir writing, as her work has been featured in several online publications. She is ecstatic to take her journey as Agency Access's sole creative content copywriter.

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