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Don’t Deny Your Inner Geek

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There have been multiple studies done on just how long the human brain can actually remain creative without a break. Of course the results vary, but all at least agree that the human brain is unable to sustain extended amounts of pure creativity without some form of stimuli to help it.

Considering it’s my job to be creative, this is actually a fairly pertinent quandary for me, and many of you as well. Our clients rely on us to be able to be creative at the drop of a hat.

But how?

I believe the answer lies in the environment we are asked to be creative in. Our space. Our environment is critical to how we work, how we think, and ultimately what we produce. Take a gander at some of the offices at Google and eBay.

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Now obviously we can’t all be Google, but the core concept of a creative environment is a solid one to promote inspiration and productivity. eBay, however…eBay we can do. There, they encourage workers to decorate and stylize their workspaces using knick-knacks, collectables and items bought from eBay itself. The core concept here is while it’s still a pretty standard office environment at it’s core, each employee is an individual who not just wants, but needs to express themselves in a personal and creative way to garner the maximum productivity and enjoyment of his or her job.

eBay’s philosophy is one I’ve adopted for myself. Take a look at my own little corner of Optima.

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See, I enjoy sitting at my desk and working. I get to relive parts of my childhood, geek-out with toys that stimulate my imagination and inspire me to be more creative. And if I even feel that pressure of not being able to come up with an idea, I roll back from my desk for a moment or two, and take a look around at the environment I’ve created for myself to work within. Not once has that ever failed to spark something in me, some new idea or new way of looking at a project on my screen that didn’t get me going again.

In a way, that’s that same philosophy we need to keep in mind when designing exhibit spaces for clients, is it not? They want show attendees to be able to step off that hard floor and into a new environment, focused solely on their brand and their messaging to the exclusion of everyone else shouting for attention. To inspire show attendees to pay attention to them, become inspired by them and to buy from them. How can we give them what they want, if we aren’t in a similar mindset ourselves?

Something that I think is neglected in all of these studies on creativity, though, is that every job needs some form of stimulation to keep you going during the work day, not just creatives. Out of a 24-hour day, we spend at least 8 hours of it, and often times more, at work. A sterile environment does not a productive person make.

So in all seriousness? Don’t Deny Your Inner Geek. Let him or her out to play every so often and you’ll be much happier for it. And so will your clients!

About the Author
Tim Toolen is a Senior Designer at Optima Graphics, and has been in the Trade Show industry for over 15 years. He also runs a successful blog about the Tabletop Miniatures hobby at miniaturetim.blogspot.com

  1. November 25, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Inner geek or personality…Call it what you like, but that’s what makes the world go round!
    Good stuff Tim.

  2. December 2, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Tim has one of the coolest collections around!

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