August 13, 2011

Inspirtation: Workplace

Blog Post:   inspiration

Creative people get inspiration from a variety of sources. Work environment has been an important one for me right from the beginning. After graduating from art school I assisted for a number of photographers to learn the trade. I quickly realized that it was imperative to create a space that inspires you and not just create one that is all about work and living. I felt that creating art needed to be a fusion of both, to be in touch with your human side and emotions and not just about working to make money. It needed to be intimate and yet full of textures, colors, things to inspire, it could not be an empty box. After a long shoot day it had to be a place that I didn’t look forward to getting away from. I worked for one photographer who worked out of her loft. Her place was beautifully furnished and had great natural light (although she shot with hot lights.) That was the kind of environment that I knew I could be creative. Just like the photographs of the studios of painters like Matisse and Braque, large rooms lined with oriental rugs and large wood tables holding stacks of books open to pages of drawings. The collections and evidence of life and history was what I knew I needed for my studio. That is why I bought a Victorian house in a bussling little neighborhood of San Francisco, a house that I used to live in with husband and daughter. There are props and personal collectables around. There are art books, magazines, paintings on the wall.  I felt it was a good place to connect with my clients, a place where my clients could feel relaxed, at home and feel more connected to their creativity too. When working with a new client I have found that the relaxed environment makes them more at ease, they settle in with their laptops at the farm table, make calls out in the garden,  or spend some time with Bella the pug. When a client is in this comfort zone, I find they then feel good about trusting us to do our job. 

I recently read an article about the CEO of Zappos and how he has brought this philosophy to the company. He has come to the conclusion that happy employees means a stronger company and therefore better profits. The company has incorporated elements of personalization and “fun” into their culture making it a pleasure to go to work for it’s employees. CEO Hsieh says “At Zappos, our belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff, like great customer service and or building a great long term brand or passionate employees and customers- will happen naturally on it’s own.”

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