Creating art in the workplace is not the easiest thing to do. Or sensible. It's messy and inconvenient (especially for neighboring coworkers). But that's art. It's frustrating and smelly and gooey. Creating art can be a pain. And that's just half the struggle.
Getting to be able to create art in the workplace is the other half of the struggle. When I was in my teens, I considered pursuing a career in art. Raised by an amateur painter and a crafty mother, I'd grown up drawing, painting and writing. I even earned a summer scholarship to study at a prestigious art university in San Francisco as a junior in high school. But we lived in the Silicon Valley during a strong recession. With both parents struggling along with thousands of others through massive layoffs, art wasn't a practical pursuit.
It wasn't until my thirties that I rediscovered my passion for art. Thankfully, I earned a Communications degree that provided me the liberty to engage art at a university level. I studied drawing, painting, graphic design, website design and writing.
When it came time to find a job, I stumbled across Seed Company. Three years later I stumbled into a position on the Connections team (our creative team). In looking back, it's been all God.
Now I'm tackling art projects at work. And it's something I'm learning to grow into. It's not easy because creatives can be ruthlessly critical. It's a work of faith to fully focus on the art because it's entirely natural be consumed with fear. WIll people like my work? Am I representing Seed Company well?
My last project involved conceptualizing and creating a artwork for Declare 2014. The ideation was a collaborative process as was the creation. But I felt the heat because some of the key ideas were suggested by yours truly. Not that they were original ideas. I borrowed a design idea from Alise Levens Interiors. And the rest just came together through the imagination of my cowoker's Shane, Laura and Eryn.
But when it came time to work, I started to freeze up until Becca saved the day. She's an intern from the University of Texas at Arlington. Becca had been with our team all summer but she was assigned to helping us with the website. Just at the right time, her workload eased and she was able to help me.
She really saved the day. At seven months pregnant, I was a bit hindered. So she got on the floor when I couldn't. When I was stunted with a lack of confidence, she encouraged me to believe. When my coworkers were unsure of our creative vision, she kept faithful to the work. And when the work was obviously beyond our technical skill-set, she pressed on.
In the end, art won. In more ways than one. In tackling art in the workplace, Becca discovered that she could pursue her love of art in real ways. And she's going to go for it with hope and prayer. Praise God! I wish I'd had a similar experience when I was younger. But God! He knows what each of us need and He's faithful to stir the passions of our hearts at just the right time.
I'm so thankful we got to share our art at Declare 2014. And I'm thankful that Becca will be sharing more of her art in the years to come. No matter how messy it gets!
This is our #wildobedience.
And on creating art in the workplace, sometimes it's wise to know when to NOT tackle a project. Our team was a bit overwhelmed so we asked Andrea Levendusky to create on our behalf. She created a beautiful art print as our table gift. We are so thankful for her talents! Be sure to connect with her if you are looking for an artist.