Being relaxed helps me alot. Also, mixing my day up with exercise and coffee breaks, and sometimes cleaning the house even helps. Since you can't force creativity, sometimes you have to change it up to allow creativity to come to you.
I worked at burger king, did a terrible job being a secretary, and then found a position teaching Illustrator and Photoshop.
For me, nearly always. I like to get a quick read on something for efficiency and then delve deeper if the topic draws me in.
It's great! I work on the couch in my living room with a cozy laptop on my lap. There's a big window at the front of the room that lets a lot of light in. When it's nice outside, I work in the tiny back yard.
I started drawing animals when I was around 3 and kept going. Illustration as a career began when I made gig posters back in 2004 or so. I wasn't paid, but I loved it so much it was worth it.
I did free poster design for a local music venue and promoter. I developed my portfolio and my style that way.
I think it's both, but it depends on the project. I like to improve the look of things which would be decorative, but I also like to describe an idea visually with an illustration, which would be conceptual.
I definitely do. Sometimes the students who don't draw in a naturalistic way might get a great portfolio that's on-trend for the naive style. Hand-drawn type is a big push in the department, and that's definitely a beautiful trend, and one that I hope sticks around.
That's the hard part. Illustration is by definition visual storytelling. Finding the language is the job. I have a big library and dig through it. I look at Steinberg, the Euros of the last century, Glaser, everybody. I'll see an image that will trigger an idea. Never the image that inspired the new idea, but a mental jump from there. The best images open your imagination and make you think.
I noticed recently that I love going for long rides outside - it calms my mind like nothing else.