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7 pep talks to get you through the work week

Visual reminders that'll give you permission to take risks, push through a creative block and inspire you at the office.
/ Source: NBC News

It's that time of year where the itch to jet-set out of the unpredictable spring weather (hello, snow in April) and sip Mai Tai's on the beach starts to creep up. Couple that with the fact that many of us have kids off for spring break, and it can be a struggle to find the motivation to head into the office and put your all into your work. Especially if you're feeling lost or unfulfilled in your current role.

Everyone needs a pep talk every now and then. Why a pep talk, you ask? "Because thriving as a creative person isn't about luck or talent. It's about blood, sweat and tears," says Andy J. Miller, author of Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists. After all, a career is never a straight line to success and it's easy to doubt ourselves and question if we're on the right track. Everyone's mojo needs a tune-up now and then.

Miller, a verbal and visual illustrator who hosts podcasts about the creative process, brought 50 artists together to create visual reminders that'll give you permission to take risks, blast through a creative block or just inspire you to do what you do. Consider this your visual (and virtual) pep rally to get you through the most trying weeks at work.

Kate Bingaman-Burt: Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "Everyone has a story to tell."Creative Pep Talk

"It’s easy to forget that we do. It’s easy to get caught up with trends. It’s easy to lose our own voice. But it’s worth remembering and repeating: Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?" – Kate Bingaman-Burt

Lisa Congdon: It’s Always Worth It

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "It's always worth it."Creative Pep Talk

"I spent much of my life until my late thirties lamenting mistakes and harboring regrets. Somewhere in there, I learned that what made me feel better each day was embracing everything about my life, including the things that didn’t go well. This simple perspective shift changed everything for me and made it much more possible for me to feel happy every day. It also helped me take more risks, because even if I failed, it would be worth it since I would learn something new that made me a better, smarter, more compassionate person. I came up with this phrase to remind myself and others of this way of thinking. This is the fourth piece of artwork I’ve designed with the phrase since 2008." – Lisa Congdon

Helen Dardik: Be Brave, Be Strong

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "Be brave, be strong."Helen Dardik / Creative Pep Talk

"We all need some bravery in our lives. Fear of failure cripples creativity, leaving you staring at a blank page unable to start. . . So one has to be brave in order to create. Being brave is being afraid but doing it anyway. So . . . be brave! Be strong and be creative!" – Helen Dardik

Andy J. Miller: You Are Infinite

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "You are infinite."Creative Pep Talk

"In Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she states that there are two types of people in the world: those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset. The fixed mindset sees oneself as unchangeable: you are born with all the personality, intelligence and potential you will ever have. The growth mindset is the opposite: you can grow in every area of your life. I realized this battle of mindsets in myself before I had ever heard of this book; at some point I realized: If you want to be a great artist, you can’t just go with the flow, you have to make waves!

My dad always says “You are infinitely more capable than you think.” I’ve found that when I believe that my potential is infinite and go after what I really want, amazing things can happen. Don’t hold onto limiting beliefs about your own potential. Use that energy to gain clarity on what you really want, and go after it." – Andy J. Miller

Nathaniel Russell: Touch the Tip of Your Finger Right Here for a Second and Get Ready to Feel the Juice!

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "Touch the tip of your finger here for a second and get ready to feel the juice."

"I made this inspirational poster as part of my time as an artist-in-residence at the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, California. When I think of 'the juice,' I think of all the invisible forces and energies we feel as humans here on Earth: inspiration, excitement, love, power, confidence and so on. That magic is real, and it can be conjured and awoken within each of us with practice and patience.

I made this print as a version of an inspirational poster one would find in the workplace. I find the idea of being able to touch the poster for a quick upload of 'the juice' very funny but also sort of sad, especially when we realize that the act of touching the poster is to trick us into realizing that 'the juice' is already within. It’s funny in the way that it makes fun of the pop culture cliché ('the call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!!'); it’s sad in the way that after all this time we, as humans, must constantly remind ourselves that we are magic, we can overcome, we can be our true and fulfilled selves.

But it’s not too late! As you read this, you can look at the page with the poster printed on it, and you, the reader, can touch the button on the page and feel that 'juice' again, any time you need it!" – Nathaniel Russell

Sarah Walsh: Wake Up & Dream

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "Wake up and dream."Creative Pep Talk

"This is sort of like saying 'dreaming isn’t just for sleeping.' I feel like having dreams (goals) is imperative for creatives, or for any human for that matter. Having a dream or goal is something to work toward. Dreams give us a reason to put our best self forward, and from there we get energy. Dreams also give us hope when things aren’t going so great. I think the coolest thing about dreams is that we can nurture them and keep them close to our heart ’til they grow big enough to become a reality. That’s magic to me." – Sarah Walsh

Teagan White: Everything Is a Cycle

Image: Creative Pep Talk Ilustration
A Creative Pep Talk illustration that reads, "Everything is a cycle."Creative Pep Talk

"All of life is organized in a cyclical way. Just as bodies are broken down in death by decomposers, every bit of them transformed into the matter that nourishes new life, so is the creative process a constant cycle. All creative people go through periods of doubt and discouragement, but those moments aren’t an end. That stage of dissatisfaction is essential for fueling the passion to grow, innovate and keep challenging ourselves." – Teagan White

Feel better? Pin these graphics to your Pinterest boards to get a pep talk whenever you need a creative kick in the pants.


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