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Go where you don’t usually go

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text]I once had a supervisor tell me, “Your creativity is enough to support our team”. I considered this to be a compliment because my life goal is to grow creatively. Usually being a designer involves lots of thought about how to inspire your own creative juices. I have found inspiration can be found in uncommon places. So that is why we need to, “Go where we don’t usually go”.

Making the time to get out is hard. If you count up the time you spend working ahead, then the time spent catching up, I wonder if the two really match up? Not always. But getting out helps you think about indirect connections.

For instance, my Aunt was telling me about “Gourd Art”. So while on Facebook I noticed a monthly art display was featuring gourd art. We went and looked and it really is amazing, it looks like pottery actually. While looking at this display I got to thinking, “I bet grocery stores have a type of customer who may or may not cook”. These customers buy items for projects that don’t involve cooking. So how about having a Non-Cooking contest?

Even if I can’t get out, just changing some tasks can help. For example, we are having a Halloween Cubicle design contest here at work. I had forgotten how much I like to make stuff instead of buying it. Figuring out how to make something with only the tools available can be very gratifying and business owners appreciate the budget.

Problems can occur if you don’t get out enough. For instance letting the competition influence your decisions too much. While scrutinizing details of what others are doing, you could be missing out on opportunities that make more sense for your business. Also, constantly observing what other businesses do around you can lead to duplication which can lead to copyright infringement. While it’s good to know what your competition is doing, replicating their ideas can turn out bad.

Just looking at different products can lead to a great idea. I find the paint department at a hardware store often influences changes in my color pallets for websites. Sometimes I even take paint chips with me to see if I feel the same at a different time. Pay attention to objects that catch your eye, then ask yourself, “What is it about this object that attracts my attention?”

We all go through periods of time where deadlines mean no time to dilly-dally. Take a look at your normal schedule and find instances where you do the same thing over and over. Mine is lunch. I like to work right through. On the other hand, I am so grateful for the unexpected lunch invitation or even an errand. I never come back to work wishing I declined the invite or skipped an opportunity to look at the world differently.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn