Fifth Annual Hall of Fame: Kim Alpert’s Five Essential Creative Needs

Any creative person has a process. A mix of certain things they do before they can be in the right head space to attack a project. Maybe it’s sitting outside, wearing your favorite sweat pants, or listening to a specific kind of music – inspiration is a very personal thing.

After a more than a decade spent as an artist and designer in the Chicago media industry, upcoming Hall of Fame inductee Kim Alpert has her own processes for sparking her talent, which she recently shared during an afternoon visit to campus. Our question: What would be in your creative survival kit?

  • A banana, for sure. Number one. Hunger and creativity are not good together, and I mean that in a real serious way.
  • Taking enough space in the beginning of the day to think about the intention of the day. Old me wishes they could tell young me to do that. I’ve always been interested in meditation, but I didn’t understand creating an intention the way I do now. That’s something I do most every day and it allows me to focus on my work and the task at hand.
  • Music is so important. I like chill electronic dance music, and then old jazz. Something that’s pretty lighthearted – not too heavy but not too ambient. Some days are hard, and it’s time for a Stevie Wonder dance party. That’s a life lesson I got from my sister. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Django Reinhardt.

  • This is random, but I have a Star Trek snow globe on my desk that means a lot to me. I was at work and everyone was bummed out and exhausted, so I put all the guys in my car, went to the thrift store, and set a $10 budget. We went on this crazy shopping spree and I found this snow globe, and now I always have it around.
  • My mom would be in my survival bag for sure, people who believe in you and support you. I have a really great network of friends and family. As I get older I realize how lucky I am that I have this supportive structure where I feel understood. I’ve been lucky enough to have so many great teachers who have taught me, who have given me the tools that I need. So my bag is full of all their tools.