Posted By Adrienne Kowalski on January 20, 2016

A recent NPR story revealed that this year’s Pantone® Color(s) of the Year—Rose Quartz and Serenity—may have been inspired by hydrangeas in the garden of the color expert who lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Described as “spending her whole life noticing the way colors work together,” Leatrice Eiseman pointed to traces of rosy pink and powder blue in the mostly brownish blooms hanging on to the last moments of fall. Eiseman didn’t say for sure if the hydrangeas were the source for this year’s selection. In fact, for her, it seems the world around her and everything in it helps shape the decision-making process that produces just the right colors for our mood and imagination.

As we kick-start 2016, we asked team Karma to share the ‘who’ or ‘what’ that inspires them to create fresh and exciting work. Who is your muse? What gives you your mojo? Better yet, what gets you going when the going gets tough—because in spite of our January good vibrations, everyone encounters a little hiccup at one point or another.

Here are some of our team’s anonymous responses – we’re not giving away all of our secrets after all.

1. Nature
“There’s nothing like taking a deep breath of fresh air to spark some fresh ideas.”


2. Music...and Physical Exertion

“Jamming to inspirational music. I start a playlist with Jimmy Eat World “The Middle” or Miley Cyrus “The Climb”.”

“The Yacht Rock channel on Pandora. Love songs I've known by heart since grade school, cranked to 11, really pump things up. It's a no-brainer day-changer.”

“A run paired with the 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music gives me what I need.”


3. Books

“With all of the inspirational blogs, portfolio sites and just great work that can be accessed online, I try to remind myself to get up and take a look around. It’s amazing what flipping through pages of magazines or books can do to reinvigorate your creativity.”


4. Family

“My parents. While they can be frustrating because they still don’t quite get what it is I actually do at work, their constant support and willingness to listen lifts my spirits when I need an extra push.”

“Simple but true answer – my family. They’ve supported my ideas and passion from a little girl – instead of playing school or house, I played boardroom. They empowered me to try anything and still do.”

“This is probably completely corny but I would have to say my mom. I genuinely look forward to recapping the events, accomplishments, highs and lows. Since we’re both communicators we love to bounce ideas off one another. The excellence she puts in her own work inspires me to be excellent at mine.”


5. Kate Middleton

“Whenever in doubt, ask yourself, ‘what would Kate Middleton do?’ ”

Whomever or whatever your muse—nature, music, books and learning, exploring, the people you love—we embrace them all for what they provide us. This week saw the loss of a man who, through his own lifetime of change and artistry and trying, became the muse of a generation. Thank you, David Bowie. Here’s to finding inspiration and creating anew in 2016.

“I was virtually trying anything… And I think I have done just about everything that it's possible to do—except really dangerous things, like being an explorer. But anything that Western culture has to offer—I’ve put myself through it.“
          -David Bowie Interview with The Telegraph, 1996