Finding Inspiration in NYC with Local, Morgan JonesMorgan Jones is, as she says, a “bred and buttered New York creative”. She was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and knows this place like the back of her hand. Morgan is also the founder and head of creative strategy of Take Out Creative, a boutique agency concept that she started with her fiancé Christian and the founder and creative director of lifestyle platform, Curated by MoJo. She’s currently living in Brooklyn, where we connected her with a few Hawai‘i born creatives.
Where did your passion for content creation come from?
I’ve always leaned on my creativity as an outlet. When I was a kid, I was always pulling images from magazines, earmarking pages in books, and doing arts and crafts, and it’s become a security blanket for me as I’ve grown up — my creativity is what I turn to through highs and lows and always brings me back to what I love doing and my most authentic self. Over the past several years I’ve found content creation to be a medium that allows me to express myself, connect with others, and work with brands that I love. My creativity has always been less about the final outcome and more about the process — enveloping myself in travel and culture, finding inspiration in unsuspecting corners of the world, and using that as fuel to inspire collaboration. Whether I’m working with Christian or partnering with a brand, I have always loved creating and bringing ideas to life through photography and content.
How do you make sure your content stands out, especially in the digital space?
Being authentically myself is what I’ve always leaned on and when I’ve felt the most proud of my work. In a space that is extremely crowded, I feel lucky to have a strong sense of self, a passion for connecting with others, and a love for sharing vulnerability through my creative avenues. I have the privilege of being with someone who is also a creative and our connection to one another is often driven by our creativity. Our work is ever evolving and inspired by what we’re going through in life, individually and together.
As someone who was raised in New York City, why do you think creatives are so drawn to this city?
New York is a safe space for creatives because it is filled with people who are unapologetically themselves, which promotes inclusion, creativity, and exploration. New York can eat you up and spit you out, but if you stay true to who you are, you will find the people who inspire you and who you want to be surrounded by at all times. It’s a big place with so many cultures, ways of life, and mentalities, and there is inspiration to be found everywhere for those who are seeking it.
How does living in NYC inspire your work and other passions?
Being surrounded by so many different cultures and walks of life always inspires my work. I’m a people person — I want to know everyone’s story, how they were raised, what makes them tick, what they feel passionate about, and how they connect with others. When I’m in a slump creatively or emotionally, it’s other people in this city that I turn to. It is the greatest privilege to be able to walk out of my apartment and have the city at my fingertips to gain inspiration, whether that’s meeting someone for coffee, heading to a yoga class, or exploring a new neighborhood.
What are the top 3 spots you recommend going to for inspiration in the city?
1: McCarren Park. Nature in the city is a luxury, and McCarren park is one of my favorite places to go to decompress, re-energize, and connect with others without being burdened by tourists and crowds.
2: Luxury hotels. New York is so different for the person who lives here versus the person who visits, and sometimes it takes removing myself from the “local” aspect of New York and experiencing the city from a different perspective to spark new ideas. I’m also just infatuated with hotel design and walking into these spaces, even momentarily, often sparks inspiration alone.
3: Your own home. A lot of my inspiration comes from the spaces that I spend the most time in, and why I feel so passionate about interior design. I think a common misconception is that we have to get out of our homes to find inspiration, but investing in small luxuries and funneling creativity into our own spaces allows us the space to rest and get inspired just simply by existing.
You’ve been spending some time with a few Hawai‘i creatives. Are you noticing any differences in how they approach their work or life in general?
They are much more relaxed and have a go-with-the-flow approach, which I admire deeply. As much as I love New York, the city glorifies being busy and always prioritizing work, which can be really toxic. I think it’s beautiful to be around people who prioritize the art of living — being in nature, seeking experiences that bring them joy, and mastering work-life balance.
Any creative pursuits outside of content creation?
I love interior design and the form of self expression that we see when entering someone’s home — the things that they care about, the color stories that they gravitate towards, mementos of things that they hold near and dear to their heart, and their everyday routines that (often) happen behind closed doors. I love the process of constantly evolving spaces in my own apartment, sourcing vintage pieces from around the world, and figuring out how to make a space function in a way that inspires me. I also love the sense of connection that I get when friends tap me to help them bring their vision to life in their own spaces — the intersection of getting a view into their living spaces while sharing my passion and creative process for making decisions that make them love their space.