When I found myself teaching Thoreau in a classroom with no window, the idea of finding creativity in – and perhaps in spite of – the workplace became particularly poignant.
It seems to me that many of us have found ourselves in spaces that we do not consider creative or aesthetically inspiring. And for creative types, these spaces can make us feel confined, frustrated, and uninspired. Although you might not be able to alter dramatically the physical space in which you work, you may be able to do a few things to add creativity to your workplace.
Create an artistic conversation piece for your workspace. Make it a point to create a creative piece for your workspace. Consider displaying original artwork or photography or signing up for a wine and paint event or a local art class to create the perfect piece. Not only will the piece be a constant reminder of your creativity but it can be a conversation piece for you and your colleagues or clients.
Subscribe to a daily poetry website. Some of our positions do not permit us to be actively engaged in literature on a daily basis. Daily poetry subscription sites, such as Poem-a-Day by the Academy of American Poets or The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor allow subscribers to receive a poem via email each day.
Cook. A new mindset about the culinary arts may help add creativity to what may seem a mundane task: eating. Understandably, sometimes our schedules all but require us to eat out for lunch. But realizing the creative components of cooking might inspire you to make your own lunch more often – not to mention save money! Sharing new recipes with colleagues is always fun, too!
Make jewelry or clothing articles. Original jewelry and clothing articles can help accentuate your workplace wardrobe in a way that showcases your creativity. Even if there is a strict dress code, wearing small earrings or a simple bracelet that you made will provide you a constant reminder of your artistic side.
Maintain a professional website. Many of us find ourselves needing to maintain an online presence for the work that we do. If you love to write, what better way to couple your passion for writing with your desire to offer professional advice and share recent projects with clients or colleagues? For those of you who are writers, this is a great way to keep up with your writing in a way that feeds your need for creativity, helps you create a record of your accomplishments and projects, and helps colleagues or clients.
Use art or quotations in presentations. I had a colleague once who used a piece of art in each presentation she made. A art history major in college, she did not let the fact that she was not an art historian prevent her from adding some artistic flair into her presentations. Not only was this a unique and unexpected way to start her presentations, she was able to maintain her passion for art. Using favorite pieces of art or meaningful quotations in your work allows you to include creativity in your work and add a personal touch to presentations.
Attend local performances with colleagues or clients. Supporting local theatre or musical companies is a great way to add a little culture to your life. Instead of meeting for dinner or drinks, attend a local college or community artistic performance.
It is easy for some of us to lose ourselves in our work. Hopefully, though, these tips will help you maintain your creativity. Ultimately, it is up to you to find the creativity that exists in your workplace and life.
Post by Kathryn Caprino (CLAS ’04)
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