Over the last few months, the conversation at the office table – and the kitchen table – is how do we continue to nurture creativity in our staff and ourselves. Some of you may know that I am an “off the side of my table” artist here in Prince George, which means I get to my art whenever I have time. As we began to build Live Work Communications, I found myself pursuing less of my art as I feared brand confusion.
Those that know me, know that I jump at the chance to paint on faces (click here), create a piece for YXS Airport, Northern Health, body paint art for the Taste of India and most recently chalk art design for Pine Centre Mall (link to video).
I realized recently, after the whispers got too loud to ignore, that what we do for clients is about creativity and thinking outside of the box. Our team is now made up of creatives. So how are we nurturing our creativity? How am I, Shauna Harper, nurturing that creativity in myself… other than the once or twice a year art opportunities I get in the community?
In deep thought around these questions, this quote came back to me: BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD. How are we being the change we wish to see.
The office/studio space was our first step. We weren’t able to find office space that was quite right until we stepped into 1255 4th ave. Then once I saw it, I knew there was no place else. And the partnership with Bobbi Carpino was also the perfect mix of artist, entrepreneur and friend… She’s a fellow silver-lining, kindred-spirit kinda gal.
There are also no accidents that we use jiffy marker pens, colorful post it notes to explain concepts to clients and rolls and rolls of kraft colored paper. It is my creativity oozing to come out in the daily tasks that we do.
So I began to ask the question of “how do we nurture more creativity in our office/studio space?” We are getting great at the routine part. After a year of being in the space, we finally finished a 25+ page office manual of systems. Systems are one thing…
But what about the creative stuff? The stuff you can’t put your finger on, but when you feel and see it, you know it is exactly what you never knew you were looking for.
We need more of that stuff!
This is the energy that creates the momentum for our community building projects, this is stuff that no longer looks like marketing because it comes from the heart. How do we get more of that?
Answer: We rearrange our office a bit and jump two feet into the unknown (AKA possibility) and create a sandbox to nurture our creativity.
Turquoise Life Project
September always feels like a new year – school starting, weather changing, smell of freshly sharpened pencils (and blisters to prove it!) and the excitement of school supplies waiting to be opened and used.
With the seasonal transition we have decided to do something a bit different at the studio.
A few years ago, I stepped into the Restore in PG and picked up a vintage turquoise couch set. Although I KNOW the couch set has no actual “superpowers”…it has always been a symbol to me about creativity, loving life, saying YES to joy and the beauty it inspires. It is an anchor piece in our office. (One of the non-negotiables to the space!)
Turquoise is a color that highlights a lot of my wardrobe and our office because it brings the joy and flow of energy into our workspace and life.
So what we are going to do is create a sandbox project for the next few months called The Turquoise Life Project. – (AKA. creative stuff that brings us joy!)
This means on Mondays (and maybe Fridays and even some weekends), you will see live painting, drawing or creative stuff in the window when you walk by (as long as I am not traveling!). On some of the other days, if you catch us between meetings, we might be in unprofessional paint stained coveralls and our hands might be dirty with chalk, pen, bubbles, paints or whatever we might be testing.
What does this mean as a client, colleague, partner, or friend of Live Work?
On the delivery of our work – nothing. You will still be able to have us work on your professional video production, overall marketing strategy and help you run your community building initiatives. This won’t change. But my belief and the reason we are exploring what I am calling – The Turquoise Life Project (#turquoiselifepg) – is to see if we can actually do better work when we nurture more creativity out of our space.
In our videos and marketing we have always said to our clients that authenticity and real storytelling is what works. So this is us practicing and living what we believe… that the gorgeous chaos that might blur the brand to some is also very much a piece of who we authentically are. We believe this sandbox testing will actually help us be better at what we do.
It won’t look like it at the beginning.
It will look like us “playing, painting, perhaps even lazing around”. The office will be decorated with kraft paper draws, painting and unfinished pieces. But I assure you, what I know to be true after 15 years of being an entrepreneur is that you attract more of the intention you send out.
And our intention is to be true to who we are, to listen to the whispers even if we are a bit scared to share the wholehearted side of our creativity that doesn’t fit into the “communications office” box (yes! there is one that exists – at least in my world!) and to see where it takes us.