Troy Nebeker

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

Troy Nebeker: Troy Nebeker - 47
Creative Director / Designer
Motofish Images and Monster and Sea


TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

TN: Monster and Sea has a tag line that boots me out the door every day – Go Because You Can. And that usually takes the form of water time. In it, on it, walking next to it or taking pictures of it – I can’t seem to get enough. Every time my kids ask me what super hero would you want to be – Aqua Man wins, hands down.

Photography for me has become a really fun outlet that keeps me inspired daily. Surf trips and adventures with family and friends are a way to learn, practice and honestly – you get to see your friends stoked – twice. Once on the water and once when you send them a shot or 10 a couple days later.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

TN: The wonderful gift of the creative field is you can’t really turn it off. Over the past few years I have been trying to merge professional work and personal work so there isn’t a distinction. Sure, there are times where you need to take on a project to keep the lights on – but if you look at them as a way to fuel the next creative possibility – then you become proud of almost everything you do.


TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

TN: The alarm clock usually chirps around 5 a.m. and after the all important first cup of coffee – this is when thoughts of what to do today creep in. Experiences and people are so inspiring and they are what make me feel creative. So it varies daily.

Productivity is a different story. The end of the day after the family is all tucked in is when all the notes and surprises from the day get compiled. From there – its time to fill the blank pieces of paper. That and a deadline. It is amazing how much more productive you get as they get closer.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

TN: Keep my family fed. Create photography and design that inspires people to get away and experience a rich and full life. Remain creatively relevant.

Okay, now for the explanation. Having been in the creative field for a whole lotta years now – things are changing at a wonderful rate. Scary if you don’t like to learn new things – but amazing, when you see how much beautiful work is out there. Keeping your family fed requires you to always be learning, which takes care of remaining relevant. The inspiration part – still working on that answer.

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

TN: Photography has been a personal project. Have always been surrounded by it. As an Art Director it was always my goal to choose photographers based on how they look at life through the lens. Have been trying to shoot and learn with that in mind.

TCU: What scares you?

TN: Cancer.

I know that isn’t really a professional fear – but it is one that has had a direct effect on how I approach this business of creativity. Sadly my family has had cancer as part of the conversation – One day after some very heavy personal phone calls, I was sitting on a conference call. People were in a rage over the label being presented because they felt there weren’t enough bubbles on it and consumers wouldn’t find it refreshing. It made me pause and really take a hard look at what is important

TCU: What does success mean to you?

TN: What does success mean to me? This is one that is in a constant state of flux. Early on, success meant award shows, which slowly graduated to promotions and titles. Now – success means – my family is happy and proud of the work I do.

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

TN: Thank you Meghan. Am super inspired by what you are doing with The Creative Unconscious and am honored to be included with so many wonderfully creative people. Keep up the good work.


You can find out more about Troy's work at and more about the Monster and Sea community at