Home > Business > Stepping outside the bubble will refresh and reboot creativity.

Stepping outside the bubble will refresh and reboot creativity.


It was a warm summer evening as we walked out of the old hotel doors.  The night was alive with strange new sensations.  A smell of mixed spices and sweet flowers hung in the air.  The sound of music came in waves.  It touched something inside me, a deep primal chord.  I wanted, no I needed, to find where the music was coming from.  At that moment I had to choose whether I was going to take that first step out into an unfamiliar world, or play it “safe” and stick close to the hotel.  I chose to step out of the proverbial “bubble”.    It was 1990 and I was eighteen years old, Madrid Spain was my first overseas adventure.  As we explored our new playground for the next few days, I realized that I was experiencing something that would be with me for the rest of my life.  I was free!

I can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t want to travel.  I have learned so much from traveling.  You get a better understanding of who you are and where you fit into the grand scheme of things. You become a part of the place as much as the place becomes a part of you.  You in turn share that with everyone you come in contact with.

On that trip I learned that not only am I fearless when it comes to exploring new places and things, but I have a real gift at talking others into stepping out of their bubbles. I’m not afraid to get lost, you can always find your way back. That in it’s self is a good lesson for life.  I always proclaim “I’m not Lost, I’m just having an adventure that I wouldn’t have had otherwise”.

Traveling has made me a better designer, I know that sounds weird, but when you travel you are exposed to a variety of people and cultures.  And with that an understanding of human nature.  It doesn’t always make sense, you do however learn to see things in different ways.  That is a very handy skill to have when working with the proverbial “client from Hades”.  It also opens the doors to a creative cornucopia that you have access to at any time.  Getting out of your day to day environment, not only refreshes you but it also has the potential to spark forgotten emotions.  As designers we sometimes forget to put that little extra into our work.  We get so busy that we just push the buttons to get the job done. Traveling helps get you back to a creative place allowing the art to flow easily, making work more enjoyable in the long run.

As we danced the night away that first night, I knew that traveling was in my blood.  I felt as if I had become a part of a secret group that had been in the making from the beginning of time.  I then knew what the driving force behind early exploration was.  It was a thirst for new experiences, something you just couldn’t find down the street and around the corner.  In the years since I have continued to feed my need for travel and exploration. I have a true love affair with my suitcase, but that’s a story for another time.

Whether you own your own exhibit house, sell exhibits, are a creative, or maybe all three, you may agree it is important to step out of your bubble.

How do you re-generate your work life? I would love to hear from you.

Categories: Business
  1. g
    March 25, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I may have to settle for just parking in a different parking spot, or taking a new way home from work – Great point about regeneration though!

  2. March 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Great thoughts on revamping creativity. There have been a ton on posts/questions lately on Twitter/Linkedin/Facebook/blogs regarding how creatives stay fresh. Looks like many of us are mired in a thick ooze of mediocrity. It’s easy to put lipstick on a pig, but passing it off as Maegan Fox takes a real creative.

  3. Heather
    March 25, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I have been to mexico a couple times. Once while my family and i were there, we rented jeeps. To actually get to drive into there cities and not just the main tourist part allowed me to actually see how much different everybodies culture is even so close to other countries. In America, we take so much for granted.

  4. Tall Guy, Long Mustache
    March 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

    It surrounds us. The spark of creativity can be found anywhere. Travel is a good one. So are: Conversations with strangers. Reading a magazine you normally don’t. Eating in a restaurant that you normally wouldn’t. Taking a different road to work. Striking up a conversation with the waiter about something other than food. Saying “hi” to every single person you see today. Buying a pack of sidewalk chalk. Writing a letter to the editor. Inviting to lunch someone you don’t want to have lunch with…

    Creative opportunities abound by exposing ourselves to the different, the new, the unique. Spring has sprung. Go ahead… wear that funky sweater and dig the creative vibes that surround you… Thanx for reminding me, Julie!

    • julie
      March 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks for the nice comment H! I want you to know I have a bucket of sidewalk chalk by my front door. Just in case I have the urge to get in touch with my inner kid 🙂

  5. Chris
    March 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Oh how I miss you Miss Julie, I get why you and I worked so well together. A Love for Life, Doing the Best Always, Enjoying Every Opportunity that Comes By (and looking for those that want to slip on by) and that Smile that says I Care. Oh How I Miss You.

    • julie
      March 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      Miss you too! I’m glad I was lucky enough to be able to take a trip out your way a couple of times. I’ll have to plot another trip out.

  6. g
    March 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Where did i put that funky sweater!?

  7. Short Guy, No Mustache
    March 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Nicely done Julie!

    To rejuvenate my work life, I usually like to do something that is solely for my benefit and those around me – whether it be turning a loved one into a Marvel Superhero (or villain, their choice) via photoshop, sending out my annually ignored email blast about Bobby/Frank Day or making yet another of my overly developed “mix tapes” for vendors/clients, I find that doing something that has nothing to do with anything aids me greatly in dealing with the Corporate World – possibly the greatest living example of something that has nothing to do with anything.

    Thanks again for sharing, and I simply can not WAIT to hear about the suitcase…

    • julie
      March 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks! I’ve heard of of your infamous “mix tapes”, I’m a mix tape fanatic myself. It seems like I make a new one every other morning for my ride into work, which is all of ten minutes long. And the suitcase… trust me I have stories, after all I have about five of them in rotation.

  8. March 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Julie,
    Great article! And a timeless message. It’s funny how you get so many benefits from stepping out of your routine and living.

    I regenerate every weekend by not planning anything and instead just doing whatever my 4 year old wants to do. It’s stream of consciousness living for two days a week. And I let her solve my hardest business problems in between playing. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone else that my management secret is my 4 year old consultant.

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