Life at Relish: How We Brainstorm

We all love those times when a brilliant idea comes seemingly out of the blue. But the truth is that “lightbulb moments” can be triggered, encouraged and cultivated by effective brainstorming. That requires the right environment, stimulation, facilitation and vibe. But does that environment happen by accident? Or can it be established intentionally? Check out the Relish Team’s responses to the question: “What gets your creative juices flowing?


  • Surfing the web for photos or inspiring quotes and content.
  • Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
  • Interesting brainstorming exercises (like building a sandwich of program components).


  • Turn off email – And just walk away. What a terrible distraction when you need to be creative!
  • Take a walk – Get some endorphins going and your creative juices flowing!
  • Dance party – like no one’s watching. 😉



  • Visual Stimulation (creative design).
  • Audible Stimulation (entrancing music).
  • Liquid Stimulation (beer).


  • Work on a different creative project for a little while – creative energy from one area can re-energize the others.
  • A walk, run or bike ride — restarting the body helps restart the brain.
  • My “Brain Bran” deck of creative prompt cards – they’re wacky, but they almost always crack open new ideas.


  • High-energy music.
  • Design magazines.
  • Collaborating with others.



  • Sketching. Sketching.
  • Reviewing other designer’s work online.
  • Watching movies, going to museums — anything visual and unrelated to work — can be both relaxing and inspiring.


  • Solo reflection on a project — sketching objects, words or ideas.
  • Going on different design platforms, look at portfolio pieces and get inspired by their look and feel.
  • Talking to others to bounce ideas off one another.


  • A good documentary. I find inspiration in real stories of all kind.
  • Wine.
  • Mind mapping.

suitcase and passport


  • Other creatives – I enjoy being in a room of creatives having a discussion.
  • Driving – I can always count on my mind to think of things randomly during my time alone in the car.
  • Traveling – Seeing new places sparks new ideas in me.


  • Good music.
  • Strong coffee.
  • Reading, watching or listening to something hilarious.


  • Creative prompts that require me to make something.
  • “Talks” hosted by TED or Google – the more obscure the topic the better.
  • Filling a notebook with free writing and doodling while outside barefoot.

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