When I was younger, I was the little girl that clung to her mother’s leg and spoke only when spoken to. In high school I was the cheerleader that no one believed could yell loudly enough to wake a sleeping baby, let alone cheer on a team of 40 boys. In college my hands shook and my voice trembled when forced to present my work. But after transitioning into a “career woman” (if you will), I like to think that I’ve gained some much-needed self-confidence; because quitting your steady job to start your own business is nothing short of terrifying and I would never have done it otherwise.
Every day should be filled with a little thrill. Switch up the ol’ routine, maybe part your hair on the opposite side (woah!) or practice your finest karaoke number with the windows down (apologies, fellow commuters). I’m convinced that these small, bold moves are what keep us on track to a fulfilling life that forces you to destroy the limits every once in a while.
Bold design contributes to this as well. Pushing your clients outside of their comfort zone is necessary if you want to continue to challenge yourself artistically. I always try to provide clients with one option that goes beyond what they’re expecting; maybe they choose it, or maybe they ask what the hell you were thinking but at least you’ve allowed yourself an opportunity to fully flex those creative muscles with each and every project—and no, 20 reps of picking up and putting down your pencil does not count.
I don’t know about you, but a few glasses of Syrah and binge-watching my DVR is pretty heavenly. Finding the time in our busy schedules to catch up on a week’s worth of shows in one sitting is rarely feasible, yet deeply fulfilling for our inner-lazy bone when we can swing it. Hello, Sunday.
Let’s dive right in. Last week on Mad Men (season 7, episode 5, if you’d like to catch up…) a computer was brought into the SC&P office. Like it or not, the 1960s were suddenly introduced to the age of technology. There I sat, attempting to multitask and clicking away on my MacBook propped perfectly in my lap, when suddenly I looked up and realized that the entire “creative lounge” was being transformed into an office of digitization—the thing was a beast.
I suppose I don’t often think about the fact that computers weren’t always so prominent in the lives of creatives. When IBM introduced that first wizard of a machine, boasting the motto “THINK,” I’m sure the mighty little MacBook Pro wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of Mother Technology. And as Mad Men‘s Michael Ginsberg was overtaken by paranoia that this computer would capture their souls I began to compare the late 60’s Madison Ave creative jungle with my own 2014 work habits, realizing that our time spent in front of the screen should not have such substantial front-runner status and that a true graphic designer must use their pen and paper equally as much as their mouse.
Recently, I read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon, in which he writes about having both a Digital Desk and an Analog Desk in his studio. I love this idea, so while setting up my new space I purposefully developed a triangle of constant creative motion by developing a Digital Desk and a Analog Desk of my own—not to mention, I threw a brainstorming space into the mix as well. The result being that I’m situated perfectly between point A of the isosceles (my lovely MacBook + Thunderbolt duo), point B (my brainstorming chair) and point C (my drafting table) and feeling the spidery creative fibers beginning to form a brilliant web of ingenuity (or so one can only hope) that not only makes good use of our amazing technology, but also screams “don’t forget to use your hands!”
So in the upcoming months I plan to spend more time roaming my newly-formed creative isosceles and contemplating how I can improve my work by being more hands-on. Need a burst of creativity in your own life? Join me in a revolution that will revert us back to the time when the “Creative Lounge” was just that—a space for expressive minds that succeeded with nothing more than paper, pens and brilliant, artistic ingenuity.