Tag Archives: Inspiration

Press Play: Playlist


Break out the blue jeans and favorite sweaters, because Fall is upon us and bringing with it the cool chill of change. It’s a time for pumpkin spice flavored, well, everything. A time to flood your senses with new sights, smells, and the exciting calm before the holiday season storm.

Like the leaves, your music changes to one more suited to the moody atmosphere.

So brew some coffee, carve a pumpkin, and enjoy our fall playlist favorites.

  1. Minds Without Fear – Imogen Heap (feat. Vishal Shekhar)
  2. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
  3. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
  4. Spitting Image – Freelance Whales
  5. The Girl – City and Colour 
  6. Black – Kari Kimmel
  7. We Will Walk Through Walls – Electric President
  8. Madness – Muse
  9. Blood For Poppies – Garbage
  10. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  11. I Am The Walrus – The Beatles
  12. Fly – Nick Drake
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Inspirations (Part 2)

As times change, so do the sources of our inspiration. But some things are timeless…

“The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox”

You reference back to them for wisdom, for guidance, for new ways of thinking.

Like an overflowing bookshelf, your mind pulls tidbits of information from your favorite sources.

Remembering childhood friends,

“The Art of Tim Burton”

and mentors who’ve become masters.

Whether on hand or not, they’ve become part of you; a cherished tool on your utility belt of creativity. What are your inspirations?


Inspirations (Part 1)

A new book full of wonder……

Inspiring us to love what we do.


And daring us to dream big.


What to Write?

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Writing for Gradient Productions has been both edifying and challenging.

Tasked daily with drafting something worth reading, in various forms, you gain a set of skills unlike those found in a classroom.

Take campaign writing: In order to get your point across the content must be simple, informative, yet creative. For a graphic flyer, you must take into account what the Visual elements are saying, and choose to either let them speak for themselves, or build upon what’s being implied. And considering you have roughly 5 seconds of an average persons’ attention, it must be short.

In the case of Narration writing, cut the unnecessary. “Audiolize” in your head the narrator’s voice and choose words appropriate to their style of speaking.

I pull inspiration from a variety of sources; Apple for the way they speak volumes for a product/campaign in 1-6 words. Certain creative minds for Vanity Fair & National Geographic. Anthony Bourdain and his superior writing “voice”.

I was an actor under the tutelage of an established screenwriter/director, and of the many lessons I learned from him, one that resonated for me as an actor/writer was that, “If you aren’t going to feature something, cut it.”

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Perfect Winter Reading

“A good book has no ending.” ~R.D. Cumming

Winter is here, yet it marks the perfect opportunity to sit by the fire with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. If you’re like me, you have an overflowing bookcase that’s been filled over the years. A special thing happens when a story is local. In many ways you are able to relate, connect, and more easily envision the settings.

Such is the case with At First Sip.

The tale is based around Leah McMahon, owner of coffee shop Silk Espresso. It follows her life and important moments in her journey which ultimately led her to start her own business and fulfill a vision of what a cafe could truly be.

The inspiring story does many things; those unacquainted with Leah or her shop find themselves hoping for her in the face of hardship and cheering her on as things fall into place. Regular “Devotees” to Silk Espresso leave with a new sense of connection to a place and person that has become, for many, a home away from home.

Should you find yourself needing coffee, come to Silk Espresso Friday, December 2nd for an exclusive book signing & Live Holiday Music featuring Nathanael Sams & Elyse Ethier.

Click here and RSVP for the event!


Boundless Inspiration

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ~Henry Brooks Adams

You don’t always realize when you’ve met someone who will change the course of your future. They may live among you, bound by blood and lineage. Or perhaps you meet them and only discover after they’ve gone how much they taught you.

Recalling their memory, we begin to realize the ripple effect of their influence. They help dictate the choices we make, the way we carry ourselves, and maybe even how we think.

We at Gradient want to share and pay tribute to those who have so inspired us:

David: There have been two women in my life who taught me a few important things; Jacqui Clauson and Mia Reager. They saw me through some of the most difficult times in my life, pushing me to be greater and even look fear right in the eye. To confront it and never give up, even against overwhelming odds. Mia taught me the importance and power of maintaining eye contact, while Jacqui helped me explore my gifts and be comfortable in my own skin.

Rebecca: I am lucky to have an amazing family. My Mom, Dad, and siblings have always been there to support me. Each of them has taught me many things. The thing I appreciate the most about my family is that they love me enough to disagree with me. Especially my sister Alisha, I always know she is on my side and will be honest with me through the difficult times.

Alisha: There are so many people that have said or done things that have lead me to a moment of epiphany, but when it comes down to it these are not the people that have had the most influence in shaping me to the person I am today. The people that have had the largest impact on me have done so in a subtle day by day manor. By being blunt with me when I am wrong, proud of me when I do something right, and honest with me when I ask their opinion. These types of friendships are not easy to come by, but I am fourtunate enough to have had two of them my entire life, my mom and sister.

Ethan: My mom. She is the person in my life that has taught me every life lesson that Ive needed to know, and inspired me to explore my talents on my own and has never tried to hold me back. My mother has taught me to be a gentleman, taught me how to survive in the big world, and just has paved a path for me as a individual and given me confidence in myself to persue my own career path. I love my mom for everything that she has done for me and has given me to make me the person I am today!

Nathanael: I can’t really think of one person that has inspired me. There have been many influences though. Keith Green, one of the greatest piano players and evangelists. Matthew Theissen, songwriter and frontman for Reliant K has been a huge influence because of his ability to work with so many different artists (and secretly I want to be a rockstar). More recently Rob Bell with his books “Love Wins” and “Drops Like Stars”. I’ve never been given one of those inspirational talks though, but if I had to choose, it would be Denzel Washington in “Remember the Titans”.