Day 347

I can’t recall if this is a topic I’ve brought up before. But, if I have, please forgive me, because it’s getting pretty hard to keep track of what I’ve written now that I’m 118 blogs in. I think this is a great conversation to have regardless. So, here we go.

In many ways, being at Pollinate reminds me a lot of my time spent at We Are Social. Both of their offices consist of one large room and with such lively teams, the energy can’t help but radiate through every inch of space. As I was pondering their similarities, I started to wonder if a certain type of office space was more attractive to some people over others. Then it hit me. The type of office environment you’re walking into is probably one of the most crucial elements you should consider when starting a new career.

Why? Well, consider this: are you able to concentrate with multiple conversations going on around you? If your answer is “no,” an open floor plan might not be the best option for you. On the flipside, if you’re not a fan of silence or isolation, I have a feeling cubicles are surely a personal hell for you. The same goes for whether you mind sitting in one place or if you'd rather be on your feet, moving around all day. On a more macro level, the layout of an office can also support or hinder the creative process as a whole.

I’ve noticed that the farther away creatives are from the rest of their team—especially CDs and ADs—the more inclined they are to communicate via email. I wouldn’t say such a situation is born out of laziness; I think it has more to do with convenience. Especially when you consider how much work we cram into any given day. It’s why I believe the workspace, as with everything we do, should be a collaborative process that involves everyone who will actually be using it. 

Personally, this trip has taught me that I’m more suited for an environment that allows me to constantly interact with people. And it’s not that I’m some social butterfly; I’m just much more effective when I’m able to bounce my ideas off other people in real time. It’s one of those things we don’t often think about; but one that can make all the difference in how much we enjoy our jobs.

Granted, not everyone has a choice on where he or she will be sitting or working. So, if you’re entering a space that doesn’t look ideal, it’s best to come up with a game plan prior to your start date. Otherwise, you run the risk of not producing your best work or worse yet, becoming that salty curmudgeon that no one likes talking to. Whether it’s headphones, meditation or a good cup of coffee, find a coping method that works for you. Then, keep producing your highest quality work, until you have your own office. I mean… that’s what we’re all striving for anyway, right? More space to put our toys and posters!

-Steve-

Day 319

When I first arrived at Y&R Group Seattle, I was excited to discover that I’d be tagging along to this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference. Now, I haven’t attended many professional conferences in my career. So, I’d say there was an equal part curiosity mixed in there too. What would I be doing? Where would I stand? What would I wear? The sheer stress of it all!

Once I snapped back to reality, I looked into the conference and found out this year’s event was all about highlighting the ‘makers’ of the world. Now, if you’ve been following along from the very beginning, you might remember my interview with professional maker, Steve Thompson, of Red Tettemer. He immediately came to mind when I discovered this new information. It’s really too bad they didn’t ask him to be a keynote speaker. I think he would’ve nailed it.

So, yesterday was day one of the conference and it was more exciting than I ever could’ve imagined. First off, YRG really outdid themselves with their awesome booth. It trumped every other company there. The morning featured artisan coffee from a local purveyor, while the afternoon brought a delicious blend of cheese, fruit and popcorn. To cap off the evening, the team even shared some area brews and small bites with the remaining attendees. Oh yeah… and these were all presented in front of a lush backdrop of freshly carved wooden bears, enormous pine trees and well-placed mood lighting—all to help push the booth’s theme of celebrating all things Seattle.

The Work of Cey Adams

Of course, such things don’t come to fruition without a lot of hard work. That's why I spent most of Wednesday helping load in the trees and furniture (Yes, I offered to help). It was a great opportunity to chat with team members and see the vast amount of planning that went into designing and building the space. I wish all of the conference goers could get a sense of how massive the project truly was, because I think it would help them appreciate it’s grandeur that much more. Although I will say, I think everyone was thoroughly impressed with it as is.

Following the last seminar of the day, I ended up at the official conference after party to chat up the diverse group of creatives, tech folk and local makers. It was very interesting indeed and I had a great time learning about Seattle's small industries and wares. But, alas, that brings us to this very moment. I’m actually gearing up for Day Two of SIC and greatly looking forward to seeing what inspirational speakers I get to hear today.

On top of all that, we’re nearing the arrival of my two best friends! I can’t recall if I mentioned it before, but they’re flying in from Cleveland to help celebrate my 30th birthday on Sunday. It's actually a pretty momentous occasion, because my one friend has never stepped foot on an airplane before. Eventful week? I’d certainly say so.

-Steve-