Stevo Dirnberger & Chanel Cartell: Find inspiration in the unfamiliar

Inspired by DI speaker Stefan Sagmeister to quit their advertising jobs and take a sabbatical, Stevo and Chanel tell us about what they’ve learnt on the road.

Both Stevo Dirnberger and Chanel Cartell will tell you that change is inspiring. And after just over a year on the road, these two are close to being experts on changing your scenery and perspective. 

“Keeping still – at least for us – bred no innovation,” says Cartell. “As soon as we felt like it was home again and there was routine and it was familiar, there was nothing new inspiring us.”

Their journey began in two seats of the Design Indaba Conference 2014 auditorium, and let them back to the stage this year – with a trip around the world in between, a journey which they have documented on their blog and on social media as How Far From Home.

“We kind of expected it to be a sabbatical, and it has almost evolved into something different now,” says Dirnberger. “There are so many doors that have been opened for us recently, especially through travel. And we’ve only seen nine per cent of the world. So why stop there?”

The two have discovered new passions and talents: illustration, writing and photography. They learnt tactile skills and began creating without constraint or deadline, which they found engaged a totally new part of their imaginations.

“Getting out of your comfort zone, doing something you’ve never done before… It almost rewires your thinking,” says Dirnberger.  

When asked what advice they would give to their ex-colleagues in advertising, Cartell simply said this:

“Stay true to yourself and have passion projects. No matter what, always have time for yourself and your own creative pursuits.” 

Watch the Talk with How Far From Home