Interview

Art in High Definition

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Jenny Honings' Sprinter Story

I decided to participate in Creative Sprint 2017 because I felt I needed to push myself out of an "artist's block". Also to try and gain some confidence in my own artwork, especially since I have never felt like I was a "real" artist. I've always done art on the side but I don't have an art degree and have had very few art classes. 

The most challenging aspect of the Sprint was teaching myself to just let go, think outside of the box, and once I did, WOW, it feels great! As part of the last day's prompt, create your own trophy, while I was working on the collage, I just happened to find the word "uninhibited" in a magazine, cut it out and applied it to my collage trophy and felt it was most appropriate for how I got to that point: I just let it all hang out!

My favorite day was the last day, not because it was the last one, but for the sheer fact that I did it! I completed something artistic - I lasted till the end. I pushed myself harder than I ever have and am so proud of myself for having done so. I loved the way my "trophy" looked. It means more to me than anything I've ever created. In fact, I was going to frame and keep this one for myself but I'm going to surprise my daughter with it for her Christmas gift this year! She collaborated with me on 2 or 3 of the daily prompts and is the one person that has been able to teach me to see "outside of the box." 

I am so surprised at the amount of confidence that I gained during the 30 day challenge via the comments, likes, thumbs up, loves, that I received via my posts each day on the Creative Sprint Facebook page. Thank you to all that did so, as it means more to me than you'll ever know.

To use a way overused but fantastic tagline: Just Do It. I promise you'll come out of it the person you've always wanted to be! No lie. Over the 30 days, I saw beautiful and artistic things around me that I had never seen before- at home, at work, at my mom and dad's house, everywhere. I see life that way anyway, and always have, but wow, it's in High Def at this point and I love it.

To see more of Jenny's work, check out her Instagram

 

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Keep moving, you'll be surprised

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Jolinda Smithson's Sprinter Story

I love the idea of connecting with people to help spark creativity.

I connected with other Sprinters through the hashtags and got to see lots of cool work at the same time. It was a great little inspiration boost each day.

One new thing I did during my Creative Sprint was to use my stylus on my phone to complete a lot of the daily challenges so that I wasn't getting caught up on doing something too intense. That simple limitation of using what I had at my fingertips helped me complete so many of them without getting too perfectionist about it. I'd love to set some limitations on myself for future projects with the expectation it doesn't have to be perfect right away so that I just get in the habit of making without judging.

One piece of advice I’d give to someone who is starting their first Creative Sprint is to just do it! Everyone in the Creative Sprint community is so supportive and if you keep moving, you'd be surprised at what cool things come out without letting yourself get caught up in how good it looks.

Since Creative Sprint, I have become more productive in other areas of my life - in small ways - trying to move things forward without the idea of perfectionism. It's also inspired me to make more necklaces, a hobby of mine, and to get back into my art studio to make things in real life.

To see more of Jolinda's work, check out her Instagram

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Creativity, A Dish Best Shared

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No One Is an Island  

I lead a team of designers and copywriters who produce all kinds of materials for our brand. When something customer-facing goes out, it’s likely we’ve already had our hands (or pens) on it. Yet, despite knowing our work, few know us as individuals.

That’s because, generally speaking, the workplace praises productivity over creativity. There are deadlines to meet, stakeholders to please. The emphasis is on deliverables—that’s just the fast-paced nature of business.

As a Creative in a large organization, your time is allocated to various projects before you can even blink. Along the workflow pipeline, requests come in, creative assets are magically pumped out, and the work day moves on. The Creative becomes almost invisible, bogged down in day-to-day production work.

But Creatives aren’t mystical beings and creative assets don’t grow on trees. With that in mind, I wanted to put a spotlight on my Creative Team and show off our skills a little with something that said “Hey, we’re still here! We put a lot of thought and care into our creative work and we’re excited to share. Let’s work together!” I also wanted something that could help bond our team and encourage others to interact with us.

Enter Creative Sprint.

Creativity is Contagious

The October Creative Sprint was the perfect opportunity for my team and I to flex our chops and do something enjoyable together. It would provide a breather from the workweek and give us something to think about, work on, and discuss.

So, we went for it. We commandeered some wall space and decided to post all our work on a giant whiteboard—in full view of everyone on the floor. Now, eyes can’t help but be drawn to our board. People stop and ask questions. Other people jump in to answer. Conversations are started, connections are made. Our motley little wall has become so much more.

To make it easier (or harder, depending on how you look at it), I added another caveat: all submissions had to be created from or incorporate a Post-it note.

This additional condition added a twist to our game, while simultaneously evening the playing field. By stipulating the use of sticky notes, we ensured that a) 30 days of submissions would fit on our board and that b) all submissions could be easily created from common office materials—meaning no excuses!

The Post-It rule has worked out well. The physical work of producing itsy-bitsy creations has been fun, while the exercise of “thinking in miniature” has been a uniquely challenging one. Plus, in a digital company, we’ve finally managed to find a use for all those office sticky notes, so it’s been a win-win!

The More You Use, The More You Have

Overall, creating for oneself, creating for just for the sake of creating, without the need for perfection, has been something incredible. It’s freeing. And it’s something that, unfortunately, most professional creatives don’t get the chance to do in the workplace.

But our Creative Sprint isn’t just about us. I’m out to prove a point. That point is that creativity isn’t some mystical talent reserved for a certain subset of the population—it’s a skill that can be practiced, a habit that can be established. Most importantly, the point is that creativity is not a skill; it’s a perspective. And by changing your perspective, you can accomplish anything.

 

Tina Caye

Creative Director, Brand

Small Business Bank Capital One

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the sense of accomplishment every single day

Why did you decide to do #CreativeSprint? 

About one year ago, I met Noah and Mica and was immediately attracted to their spirit; their energy; their openness to creative interpretation.  When I first received the email to sign up for this challenge, I didn't have to think about it, I knew it was something I wanted and was able to do.  It was an easy and exciting decision.  

What was your greatest achievement during #CreativeSprint?

Feeling the sense of accomplishment every single day.  It is entirely different from the way I feel successful at work.  This challenge was entirely self-fulfilling.  I wasn't doing it to get paid or recognized, I was doing it to learn something about myself, to test my limits, and to remind myself how important it is for me to have a creative outlet - too often I get lost and forget.

What is your biggest learning from the month?   

My biggest learning was that every single person has a different interpretation. One of my favorite parts about this challenge occurred at the end of every single day when I looked at other people's projects.  It really is amazing how each individual has their own, unique ability to create something.  

How will you apply that learning going forward?

Some days I loved my output, other days not so much.  And that is OK.  I learned to not be hard on myself, or get stressed or frustrated.  Instead, I became proud that I committed to something and stuck to it. I think the static learning that I need to apply to my every day - love, friendship, my career, and my hobbies - is this: good or bad the result, be proud that I tried. 

 

Bari N. Greenstein (AKA @Bgreens13 )
Global New Business Account Executive, Havas Health