This week, we’ve got a special episode of Inside PR live from the South by Southwest V2V conference in Las Vegas. OK, live to digital audio.

Just before we recorded, I’d attended a high energy and insightful panel on creativity and brainstorming and invited the panelists to continue the discussion on the show.

Note: We’re in one of the speaker lounges so apologies for the sound quality and background noise. Next time, I’ll travel with my portable IPR studio, that is, I’ll find a quieter spot.

Our guests are:
Helen Todd, co-founder and CEO, Sociality Squared
Adam Marelli, artist and photographer based in NYC
Jim Hopkinson, fellow podcaster at the Hopkinson Report, author and principal of Hopkinson Creative Media
Jey Van-Sharp, business strategist and market analyst/editor at My Uber Life

Here are some highlights of our conversation:

Adam Marelli says one of the best pieces of advice he ever received on creativity came from a Zen monk who said do just one thing at a time. For Adam, no matter how long the to-do list becomes, he finds he’s most creative if he focuses on a specific task without distractions.

For Jey Van-Sharp, it’s all about prioritizing your priorities. He starts by thinking of the objective as a big boulder you can’t move very easily. Then he breaks it into smaller rocks and easy to handle pebbles, with each pebble being one task. Each day he picks several tasks to work on, knowing he can’t get through them all at once, but will accomplish the project over time.

Jim Hopkinson believes you should really know yourself and references a Paul Graham post on maker’s and manger’s schedules and how the two are often in opposition. Being creative means being a maker and it’s important to find clumps of uninterrupted time for your work.

Helen Todd agrees you need to block off periods during your day to cultivate your ideas. Her advice: avoid productive procrastination – where you work on administrative projects or answering emails because it makes you feel productive, when you should be focusing on the creative challenge at hand.

Final word goes to Adam who says, there’s an art to failure and you get there by practicing it; the separation between failure and success is very thin.

Do you consider yourself creative or in a creative job? What challenges do you have coming up with fresh ideas? Is creativity something you live and breathe or do you try to compartmentalize it? Any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you.

You may also be interested in the interview we did with Festival producer Christine Auten.


Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Kristine Simpson and Ashlea LeCompte.


  1. PAYET Christine

    I wondered if I could be creative in my job ? I needed to revise the definition of the word “creative”.
    After a brief reading I thought yes “i am a créative nurse”.
    Happy to know it!

    May be i am créative mum, a creative entrepreneur And else?

    Thanks a lot to open my mind about this…i Will think about it these days!


  1. Inside PR with Martin Waxman | Adam Marelli Photo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.