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4 Filipino creatives share their ‘restart’ hacks for a refreshed and restocked creative mind

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Whenever we come back from a long break, we all feel the clamor and pressure to start anew like no time has passed. A classic example is the coming of a new year with resolutions set, journals opened, and plans for a productive and fulfilling year meticulously made. The Holy Week is yet another period where Philippine-based students and employees are called to pause, halting workflows and interrupting regular routines. 

Understandably, stepping back into the daily grind can be difficult after a relaxing holiday season where seemingly no responsibilities exist. This is especially hard for creatives who are expected to return with inspired dispositions and vibrant new ideas to last them the rest of the year – or until the next holiday urges them to take a break.

From personal artworks to consuming one’s comfort media, we’ve reached out to four Filipino creatives to see how they restart during the holidays and prepare for another year of creative innovation and sustained inspiration. All in the hope that we, too, can find the tools we need to thrive throughout the year with renewed creativity. 


Jeano Cruz, Creative Director and Partner at GIGIL, a Philippine-based creative agency that seemingly specializes in the wildest and most out-of-the-box campaigns, cited TikTok as a valuable resource. He noted that these videos are his trusty source of entertainment and inspiration, especially when they’ve been curated by his wife: “My restart method for the new year has been the same thing I’ve done every day in the past 2023. After work, I open all the TikToks my wife has sent me throughout her day and watch it to decompress, entertain myself, and subtly find inspiration from pop culture for the next day at work.”

“Attached is a photo of my wife laughing after we viewed a TikTok together. That’s all the reset I need after a long day,” he shared. 

Designer and illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz, on the other hand, starts off her year through detailed organization. As a freelance artist who works with several brands in a year on top of her personal projects and products, listing down goals and important dates are of utmost importance to Raxenne’s productivity.  

“I only started this last year so I’m doing it again this January. I like setting my goals for the year ahead in my journal. I list down a lot and it can be crazy lol but it’s nice to look back and see what I’ve done by the end of the year,” she shared. 

Meanwhile, fellow freelance illustrator Ross Du approaches each new year with a passion project that characterizes the incoming year’s spirit and manifestations: “Every new year, I have a tradition of creating an illustration inspired by the Pantone color of the year and the Chinese Zodiac. I use this to set my annual intention and display it by my work desk so I stay mindful of what my priorities are throughout the year.”

For 2024, with Peach Fuzz and the Year of the Dragon as her key elements, she illustrated a woman dancing with a dragon – an empowering sentiment to take on the year with grace with overflowing energy. 

Lastly, Creative Gaming Brand Specialist and our very own Game On captain Rey Tiempo shared that his secret to tackling the new year is – surprise, surprise – to play games. “For the entire year, I make it a point to try and play just new game releases, to chronicle and contribute to the growth of Gaming X Marketing (and I usually share the screenshots through my year-enders in my column, Game On).” 

“To start off the new year, it helps to just sit back and fire up the home arcade for some old school action – to look to the past, while also planning for the future,” he added, underlining the value of things that bring us comfort, as well as excitement, in sparking up new ideas. 

Everyone has their own way of nurturing their creativity to prepare for a new season of idea generation and execution, even those within the same fields and communities. It’s interesting to see how four Filipino creatives – two illustrators and two advertising professionals – have such varying techniques to warm up for the year ahead. Yet, they all have the same goal of churning out better creative output in 2024 than the year prior. 

The responses above underline the truth that inspiration can come from anywhere – both the old and the new, the comfortable and the unfamiliar, the chaotic and the planned – and therefore doesn’t require a catalyst like a new year to activate and reboot. We can all “restart” our creativity any time of the year, and basically anytime we need a new burst of inspiration, productivity, and imagination. 

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