Hey, question for you: what are you inspired by? Do you know?
That's the question I've always loved to hear the answer to, the one that I've found myself thinking more about and what my own answers might be when I went through my creative re-awakening starting in 2017. I realized that the answers to those questions aren't just about art and design, but about life too.
I also realized that inspiration isn’t just what we like but what we’re fascinated by, what brings up questions, what holds our attention.
BREAD is a newsletter about creative breadth. Each issue features an essay about one single specific creative influence of mine, pulled from topics including but not limited to technology, business, culture (pop and otherwise), science and art.
BREAD is not a newsletter about “how to be more creative” or things you need to know. There are lots of things here you don't need to know, but I think now, more than ever, especially after being on the internet where I've made my living over the past decade, there is something necessary and essential to the act of noticing and questioning your own sources, even in spaces underlooked, roads less taken, the soft and the frivolous, and sometimes the hard and the heartbreaking.
This is a newsletter about reflection and discovery, narrative and pattern-finding, combining parts of memoir writing, internet writing and the personal essay to find perhaps not answers but directions to the question: who am I, what do I do, and where am I going?
Because I sure as heck don't know. But I do know that the entirety of me is made up of a constellation of moments and inclinations, experiences and memories: after all, I am what I eat, wear, see, like, love, hate, hear, et al.
It's about examining the road already travelled and the rabbitholes you always find yourself in, the things that hold your attention, the movies that you watch over and over again, the questions you keep asking. Well, it's really about me, but if you're here and you're reading, then you might learn something new about yourself too.
Because that question about creative influence and inspiration isn't just for designers, artists, or “creatives”. It's for anyone building a life.
Let’s break some bread.
About the Author
BREAD is written by Ana Wang, who was trained in fashion design, is usually paid to write stuff on the internet and spends most of her free time researching, reading, shopping and coding. She used to work in tech and now works for herself. She likes bread with butter.
She started BREAD because she's lived in many worlds and held a long-time fascination for how founders find ideas, how designers build concepts, how writers decide what stories are important to them, and most recently, how people decide what kind of life they want to live. She's also been a marketer and in PR, there's always the hook: the origin story in one line, the "what inspired you?" and the neat and tidy soundbite that comes with it.
That's where BREAD comes from, an experiment to explore creative influence beyond the soundbite. And also, to practice writing more of the kind of thing she wanted to read herself. Some of the most common themes (so far) in her writing include: reinvention, systems thinking, the 90s and Y2K era, entrepreneurship, retail, and change.
Her work and writing has previously been seen in Huffington Post, Vogue, Forbes, Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight and various tech industry publications including Shopify and Evernote.