Mind at Work: Senior Content Strategist Ariel Bolles

Whenever possible, we like to sit down with one of our creative minds at VSA to find out what inspires them. In a world where there’s constantly pressure to “produce, produce, produce,” it’s important to stop and reflect on the special people, places and things that actually drive our creativity.

Today, VSA Senior Content Strategist Ariel Bolles sheds light on the four things that inspire her and help her do what she does.

1. Flowers
Years ago I worked at a high-end flower shop as a delivery driver, spending my days zipping around The Loop and all over Chicagoland. I didn’t know the first thing about flowers, but over time my role evolved, eventually becoming a designer, crafting custom orders. I learned not just about flowers and plants, but about working with color, organic shapes and how to take a customer’s often vague or abstract request and channel it into a beautiful arrangement. Those lessons stick with me today.

2. Upright bass
I’ve sung my entire life and played bass for about a third. My bass is a workhorse, a “blonde” 1942 Kay, that belonged to a friend of a friend who passed away. Playing bass and singing with friends is a necessary escape from my day-to-day life, and over the years it has allowed me to travel for free and meet people I otherwise would never have known.

3. Foodie-ish
I care about where my food comes from and I love to cook for myself as much as possible. I like to master a cooking method and then apply it elsewhere in a different way. This concept of learning the basics of something and expanding on it creatively has carried through my life, whether with flower arranging, music, or my work. But to be clear, I will never turn down a corndog. There’s always a place for breaking the rules.

4. Vermont

The state I grew up in, and the people in it, are a constant inspiration to me. It’s a beautiful, idealistic, crunchy, complicated place full of characters. It’s the place that I blame for my stubborn ideals and faith in community.