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I got used to a wide array of music blaring as I cut designs into paper sprawled across the studio where I worked as an artist’s assistant. As the day wore on, our conversations would turn silly, our hands would cramp up and my eyes would glaze over. Still, when I got home I was inspired to make something of my own.

Now I have a much different day-to-day experience.

It was hard to transition from the fine art world into the corporate one. As a creative intern at Weber, I continue to learn new skills every day, love what I do, and work with inspiring and talented individuals. But I’m not creating art with my hands, I have a much more consistent routine, and I have to finish projects in less time than I’m used to.

Challenge 1: Creativity

It’s easy to want to just go home and do absolutely nothing the rest of the day. But I find that creating something with my hands after work sets me up for a good day the next day. It’s important for creatives working a desk job to have personal projects to escape to. Especially if it doesn’t involve a computer screen.

Explore what you’re passionate about that isn’t work related.

Recently, I’ve been reading books after work rather than watching TV. That’s inspired me to do more creative writing (no screens; strictly pen and paper).

Challenge 2: Routine

It’s easy to get into a pattern of simply doing what is asked of you. I found myself cranking out work and not taking time to assimilate into the coworking life. Then I realized how rewarding it was to volunteer for miscellaneous office-related projects, like making posters for Bike to Work month. It’s good to take a break from demanding client work and do something that gives you creative freedom. It also allows you to work with people in the office that you don’t usually collaborate with.

Seek out projects around the office that require your creativity.

There usually isn’t a hard deadline, and there’s little pressure to please everyone. It could be anything from making a flyer to helping with an event.

Challenge 3: Time

When you’re working in a fast-paced agency setting, you usually can’t spend half a day thinking about your creative approach to a new project. You have to move quickly so that you meet your deadlines and the people depending on you can meet theirs. Meanwhile, the creative inside of you wants to make mood boards and experiment as much as you can before producing a masterpiece.

When you do find yourself with a break between assignments, take full advantage and get inspired.

Try anything to get your creative juices flowing while you don’t have a deadline looming over you. I do YouTube tutorials to expand my skills and take inspiration from what other designers are creating.

Switching gears from different sides of a career poses challenges but can be a rewarding experience when you learn how to tackle the new adventure. Remember, it’s important to find your passions outside of work, step out of your routine every once in a while, and take advantage of free time to get inspired!

About

Maddie Sharpe is a creative intern at Weber Shandwick. Before Weber, she studied Digital Design at Seattle University and was a studio assistant for local artist Barbara Earl Thomas. She is passionate about branding and finding sun in Seattle.

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