Staying Creative on The Road

Putting in a lot of hours on the road can be tough on your body, your mind and your creative spirit. Over the last several months just about every week I've been out on the road, traveling, journaling and drafting the chapters of my book. April included a week long Pacific Coast Highway drive...

photo by Allister Ann

photo by Allister Ann

...and then a week driving the western states section of Route 66. Both trips were with my friend Allister, who's working with me on visuals for the book. (I can't wait to share those photos!)

And then, as you guys know Ben and I traveled border to border, Mexico to Canada over the course of 3 weeks in May. So much road time!

As a freelancer there's so much to accomplish while traveling - writing the book is one thing, however client projects don't take a back seat just because I'm out on the road. There's marketing strategies to write, mood boards to build and creative concepting that requires quick brainstorming to best represent each client uniquely. When waking up in a new place every day I absolutely have to visualize a daily routine, no matter where I am, and stick to it. On days when I'm behind the wheel (or in the passenger seat) being conscious of seeking out creative inspiration is so important to me.

Here's a few things I do to stay creative and keep fresh ideas illuminated on the road:

1. Liven up your body.

There's a different type of stillness when I wake up with the sunrise. Opening my eyes as the first light travels over the horizon allows me to feel an energy that I don't get if I sleep in even a little. Ben and I start everyday with coffee and the healthiest breakfast we can find. Sometimes that's a PB&J, but when possible I opt for things with Omega 3's and vitamin C.: avocados, oranges, hard boiled eggs. We pack a cooler and keep it filled with goodies (makes it easy to pull over for picnics and get out into nature a bit too). On my most recent trips, Route 66 and the border to border travels I found a cold-brew coffee that I kept stocked in our road cooler. SToK™ Cold-Brew Iced Coffee is pure and slow brewed with no weird ingredients, and bonus! it's the strongest iced coffee I've found. Obsessed.

My favorite cold brew, SToK™ is perfect to get the morning going.

It's become our go to road trip coffee. We picked ours up at Wal-Mart on a supply run in New Mexico. I've always been a coffee first thing in the morning girl, Ben knows it's like my alarm clock. and we both grab this one when we need a stream of inspiration lightening bolts - it helps creative people do creative things.

2. Take up with the locals. 

Seek out the local cafés and music halls, meet the craft-conscious makers, shop owners, even bartenders. They're typically enthusiasts and eager to share ideas about their favorites spots. I'll bring along my camera and travel journal when hitting up the local restaurants and bars and spend a little time writing or planning client initiatives while taking in the fabric of a place. On our Route 66 trip my new friend Ashley, took us to all of her favorite hangouts. We went thrifting, hung out at the 66 diner and bounced around taking in the sites and sounds of Albuquerque with the eyes of a local. Being fully immersed in a place and truly knowing it allows your creativity to come alive.

3. Make the time to collaborate!

In the case of Ben and I we each work in creative industries. He's a musician and learning the ropes of analog photography. Out on the road when we're having that first coffee of the day we'll talk about the ideas we're each having, whether it's a song floating through his mind or a story I've got on mine, we'll head out into nature to create photos together. I have quite a few clients I do styling work for so it's fun to concoct little editorial stories - fashion and music set in sleepy canyons and desert oases. We take the time to let ideas arise slowing and often our favorite way to relive the experience of a trip is pouring back over the photographs and words we wrote together.

Ben and I love taking photos out in nature. Packing a picnic, hiking out into the wilderness keeps the creativity flowing.

Ben and I love taking photos out in nature. Packing a picnic, hiking out into the wilderness keeps the creativity flowing.

Thinking about it, I suppose these things could be common sense, however, it's so easy to get in a rut.. to stop for fast food, to stick to the tourist routes, to log another thousand miles without a fresh idea to show for it. When living life as a creative taking care of the body and mind is so key you guys.

I hope you've been enjoying the photos from our travels. I'd love to hear from you guys, how do ignite your creativity when you're out experiencing the world?



This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and SToK™. All opinions are mine alone. #SToKCoffee #cbias #CollectiveBias


Andi Eaton

Andi Eaton is a creative director, author, entrepreneur, and cultural influencer in a variety of media. She produces Oui We ( the modern bohemian's guide to everything from travel and style to beauty and holistic wellness. Andi and her projects have been featured on Domino, Glitter Guide, A Beautiful Mess, Southern Living, SELF, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, WWD, Elle Canada and more; in 2017 she wrapped a year of road tripping throughout the U.S. photographing and documenting travel, style and culture stories available in her new book: "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style".